And don’t blink when you shake my hand. The handshake is still the most popular gesture in the initiation of most of our personal and professional relationships. It seems, however, that eye-to-eye contact in our interpersonal exchanges is becoming a thing of the past for a lot of our kids. Particularly when they spend most of the day looking at digitized screens, or are immersed in a variety of virtual worlds. Even our cars today come equipped with technology designed to entertain the young and old, especially on those long family car rides. Hopefully the car’s driver is able to keep his/her eyes on the road.
Many experts are fearful that this younger generation will be losing the skill to read nonverbal emotional clues that occur in face-to-face conversation. Young people are finding group dating preferable to traditional individual dating arrangements since it does not create as much personal anxiety. Current research also suggests that setting aside some time without using technology improves students’ ability to read nonverbal emotional cues.
Some researchers in this area go even further when they say we can’t become fully human until we learn to look into other people’s eyes.