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It’s official: Email, texting, and social media are no longer just helpful supplemental business tools. They’ve taken over the whole game. Yes, technology has made many aspects of modern living more convenient and “connected,” but the pendulum has swung too far. Now, people are reluctant to do something as simple as picking up the phone, preferring to shoot off an email instead. And face-to-face meetings—well, they’re almost unheard of.

This “technology takeover” is not without consequence, says Michael Houlihan , coauthor along with Bonnie Harvey of The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s No. 1 Wine Brand (coming in May 2013 from Evolve Publishing). Misunderstandings abound. Relationships stagnate. Trust is at an all-time low. And all of these issues are at least partially due to the fact that genuine human connections have been replaced by mouse-clicks and keystrokes

If you make the time necessary for personal meetings—if not in person, then via Skype or, at the very least, on the phone—Houlihan says others will not only remember you, but they will appreciate the effort you put forth. Read on for seven specific advantages of real-time, in-person, face-to-face relationship building:

The time investment shows you really care. It’s a fairly universal truth that human beings want to be valued and appreciated. Spending time with someone else, whether that’s in person, face-to-face on a computer screen, or, if all else fails, via a phone call, is one of the best ways to convey these things. In essence, an investment of time says, “While there are many other things I could be doing, I’m choosing to spend my time with you. That’s how important I think you are!” Minutes and hours spent with another person have the power to create a bond that money can’t buy.

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