It is difficult to understand my daughter’s conversations on the phone. When I am with her, I can read her body language pretty well. When we are on the phone, I don’t have that advantage – and her conversations are hard to follow.
In person, I can see her looking around distractedly, and see what has caught her attention elsewhere in the room. On the phone, when she loses her train of thought, I can’t tell if it is because she is tired, or if her worker walked into the room with a pizza.
In person, I can hold her hand and make eye contact. I can see where she is looking and work to keep her attention on the subject we are discussing. On the phone, I can only ask, “are you still there?”
I can imagine the hand motions she might make as she speaks, but on the phone, I can’t really see them. The movement of her hands would help me understand the mood of her words when I can’t hear the mood in her voice.