Have you ever heard of the so-called ‘Bandwidth hypothesis’ in computer-mediated communications? It’s the hypothesis that for cognitive tasks, the more similar a medium is to face-to-face communication (the more bandwidth it has), the better the communication should be. Scientist have been trying to prove this for decades but they never succeeded.
Of course there are a lot of emotional aspects that play a big role. These aspects make face-to-face interaction a much richer experience than other (computer-mediated) interactions. But somehow they don’t seem to have any influence when it comes to the communication of cognitive tasks ((Whittaker S (2002). ‘Theories and methods in mediated communication)).
What does make a difference is speech. Research has shown that this makes the communication of cognitive tasks twice as effective. ((Chapanis A, Ochsman R & Parrish R (1972). ‘Studies in interactive communication)) Knowing this, the bubblecomment post from last week (which was about leaving video comments), left me with some questions. I didn’t leave a video comment. Why? I don’t really know. I just didn’t feel comfortable with it. But when do I prefer video, or a video chat to be more specific, as a medium for communication? When do I want or need my communication with someone else to be this rich. The only time I seriously engaged in a video chat, was with a friend who was living in Australia at the time and which I hadn’t seen for months. But that’s just me. So here is my question for you:
When do you prefer video as a medium for communication? When not? And most of all, why?