Electronic Forums and Face-to-Face Discussions

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Discussions between people or groups of people form an important part of inter-personal communications. The sharing and articulation of ideas is an important part of a process to enhance understanding of a subject, evaluate different options or remove misconceptions and misunderstandings, depending upon the nature, aim and scope of the discussion.


Increased fragmentation of society coupled with fast-paced life-styles has contributed to the popularity of electronic forums between people separated in time and space across diverse geographical regions and different time-zones. Unlike face-to-face discussions, electronic forums can be accessed at any convenient time and place. Such forums are not limited by the number of participants on account of administrative constraints, such as seating capacity or scheduling problems. Visitors to an online forum also have the benefit of reviewing earlier postings and to bring themselves up-to-date before deciding to join a particular e-group or participate in the discussion. Online forums also offer the advantage of anonymity on account of which participants can post their views and responses without the fear of ridicule, since appreciation of and eliciting different view points is the main purpose of the forum. It also offers participants the opportunity to mull over whatever information has been viewed and offer a measured response at a convenient time after having considered all the pros and cons of an argument. These factors affect the manner in which electronic forums function in that they are more free-flowing and unstructured.
Face-to-face discussions on the other ...
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