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Debate: Online debate and dialogue

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Is online debate and dialogue a force for good?


Background and Context of Debate:

Communication: Is online debate and dialogue better for the communication of ideas?


  • Online, written dialogue enables deep reflection and communication without time pressures. It is important that people be able to take the time to reflect and clearly express themselves. It is often hard to do this in the context of face-to-face dialogue. Time pressures can be a limitation as well as difficult group dynamics, such as a person attempting to dominate a discussion. This can create scenarios in which individuals do not find the right opportunity to jump in with a well crafted idea.
  • Online dialogue is recorded for others to read and reflect on.


  • Face-to-face communication reduces miscommunication: It allows for emotions to be more clearly expressed through tone and gesture. The written word, particularly in dialogue, can be misinterpreted very easily. Face-to-face communications allow for mis-communications to be resolved more easily, which is very important in the context of discussing contentious and sensitive issues.

Skills: Does online debate exercise more valuable skills?


  • Online dialogue increases dialogue, which is always a good thing.
  • Online dialogue exercises the important skill of writing.


  • Face-to-face communication allows for the exercise of group dynamics.
  • Interpersonal dialogue helps improve public-speaking skills.

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