"But Tim, you're into withdrawal and deconstruction. We all know the deconstructive critique of the anthropological myth of fully present face-to-face society. Doesn't that mean we can use our cellphones as much as we want without any worry? I mean, there is no face-to-face. Objects withdraw."
Okay, challenge accepted. Let's go.
You know why face to face is better? It's for the opposite reason from the anthropological myth.
In face to face, there is less information.
Face to face, in other words, is closer to the ontological truth than online.
It's a familiar fact about online classes. Why are they worse?
Because they contain more information.
Everywhere you look, something means something. There's the chat window, the ticker, the score box, the resources folder, the camera, the teacher in a little window, and on and on and on.
In a physical classroom there's the smell of the chalk, your greasy hair, the old broken furniture, the nasty carpet, the teacher's acne.
All kinds of things that have nothing to do with teaching, in a strictly ontic sense. You would think.
Precisely because of these redundant aspects of the physical classroom, the students can get into the class much better. That's why classrooms always win.
Face to face is closer to the ontological truth.
It's the online world that is in-your-face (-to-face).
First peoples are cooler because they have less chat boxes. Face to face means you don't know what's happening, you aren't being told everything, you can't predict everything.
That's why we're truly scared of putting our phones down. We think we will lose out on some kind of presence that's happening without us. The world of metaphysical presence is inside the screen.
Face to face is better because it's poorer. Not because it's richer. Face to face is better because it's underwhelming.
Why are online classes worse? Because not everything is information.
Save the world from being turned into total information, please.