• Christopher Michael McHugh

Projected Reality

Updated: Feb 25

Which is better: talking in person or video chat, instant messaging and phone calls?

Projected reality is a human created reality that is placed on to an object, such as a video on a screen, words on paper or visualizing something in your head.


I have given a lot of thought recently to benefits and detriments of projected reality, and to whether it is better, worse or the same as “real life” reality.


The largest problem with projected reality is that it is not pure in the way in which it is sent. In reality, I verbally say things to you in person, but how you look at me is unfiltered and my words are not edited. But if I verbally say things to you via a video chat, part of what I am saying is lost in the transmission, as you can no longer see how I am gesturing with my hands, and how I am shuffling my feet uncomfortably. If I am saying something to you in a pre-produced video broadcast, the director and or editor decides how you see me by using different camera angles. They also choose what part of my body you can view at any given time. This further muddies the message.


Even if you and I were to stand in a VR world looking straight at each other, I could not fully convey a message of empathy to you because I cannot put my hand on your shoulder. And you could also not fully receive my message of love because you would be unable to feel my arms as I hug you and tell you that everything is going to be alright.


Words on paper or sent through an electronic medium are even harder for the sender to convey their meaning. When you receive the message there is no visual reference, as they can not see you. And they can not understand what the tone of your voice, in your mind, was when you wrote the text. This causes you to have to fill in the gaps, many times, incorrectly causing severe communication breakdown.


With just these few examples of projected reality we can create a hierarchy of the best forms of live communication down to the worst, with number one being the best.

In-person communication

  1. Video chat

  2. Phone/audio only communication

  3. Instant messaging

While instant messaging and email are extremely beneficial when it comes to being able to refer back to what is said, as we tend to forget things, the lack of visual reference and tone causes you to spend more time re-communicating what the person on the other end did not understand.


The conclusion that we come to is that in-person communication, in general, is a better choice when it comes to conveying a message or having a conversation. It also saves time.

This article was written by Christopher Michael McHugh. Mr. McHugh is a producer, media analyst, marketer and the owner of McQ Marketing Group. For consulting, public speaking, interview or other inquiries, please text 203-689-3419, email Chris@McQMarketingGroup.com or call 203-689-3419.


Interested in learning about creating TV and online news. Check out Secrets of Producing TV and Online News. It’s the new bible for individuals producing content in this ever-changing and rapidly accelerating media landscape, used in universities across the United States.


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