These are some of the more interesting responses we go to the question:

Do you agree with the following statement: "I have friends I feel more comfortable emailing or IM-ing than calling or visiting." Why or why not?


"Emailing is less of a hassle for some people I prefer not to see."

"You can plan what you want to say and its less intimidating because they are not talking back or they are not in your presence."

"People I haven't talked to or seen in a long time - no awkward silences!"

"Lack of face to face contact relieves tension."

"Less commitment - can also multi-task timing in my control."

"It's easier to IM or email and you can always say you have a class and have to go if you don't have anything more to say."

"On the phone you get sucked into wasting time, while emails are short."

"Some conversation topics are better left unspoken - nobody overhears."

"IM-ing is a more informal setting.  Easier to "just say hi" by IM than by phone.  You most often call people for a specific reason."

"Usually not very close friends, for whom email provides a neutral space.  It's funny because one would probably get over the need for a 'neutral space' after having more contact with the person."

"The time required to call or visit is more than I would want to spend with that person."

"Because I can convey information without uncomfortable small talk."

"Don't need to have a lot to say but can still find out what is going on with them."

"Some acquaintances are easier to joke around with through the internet because you can really think about what you're going to say before you say it."

"Because they're hard to look at.  You can end the conversation (if they're annoying you) whenever you want by turning the computer off."

"It's more convenient (time-wise and traveling).  An email can be planned but a call/visit cannot.  Also, time of day matters a lot.  You will always reach friends through email."

"Less time, less risk of rejection."

"They can't talk back."

"Because I can end conversations whenever I want."

"He can get annoying, so by email I can control how long the visit is."

"I'm lazy."



"Genuine human interaction is more satisfying in this modern world of technological isolation masquerading as global interconnection.  Electronic communication only adds to our subjection to technology and fuels our existential despair."

"If I can't meet them face-to-face comfortably, then they're really not my friends."

"If I'm not comfortable visiting them, why would I talk to them online in the first place?  Relationships start in person."

"It is always more personal, more communicative, and more psychologically satisfying to talk face-to-face or at least voice-to-voice."

"If they're my friends, then I want to get the full effect of the conversation, meaning tone of voice and body gestures."

"Email is a tool to complement, not substitute human contact."

"I'll often ICQ before visiting (to tell them I'm visiting), but that's it.  I'd rather see them."

"It's just more difficult to talk to someone over the internet than face-to-face.  You run out of things to say more quickly."

"Emailing is super impersonal and lame."

"Online chat is cheap."

"I'm not a dork."