Has your smartphone eaten your social skills? If so, you’re not alone. Emily Manke of onlinehumanresources.net recently wrote a post about the five skills we’re losing, thanks to technology. (No word on whether she wrote the post on her iPad while pretending to attend a meeting.)
1. Eye Contact
What’s creepier than someone who stares too much? Someone who doesn’t make eye contact at all. Even in conversation, many of us look at our screens more than the person we’re talking to.
2. Phone Skills
Want to terrify a Gen Y coworker? Call them on their phone, instead of texting, emailing, or messaging. Most likely, they’ll stare at it like something on their desk just started ticking.
Tech addicts find it hard to look away from their screen for more than a minute. This makes it almost impossible to track the course of a conversation … or to give the impression that we care what the other person is saying at all.
4. Spatial Awareness
Remember those old silent movies, where Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keaton would be so absorbed in his thoughts, he’d fall down a manhole? It’s pretty amazing this doesn’t happen more often in real life. Only nowadays, it wouldn’t be our thought that distracted us. It would be our Instagram feed.
5. Attention Span
In the ’80s and ’90s, MTV got the blame for training an entire generation to believe that every idea can expressed in under a minute, with a flashy jump cut. Today, those old videos look like “Gone With the Wind.” It’s hard for people to pay attention over an extended period of time, when they’re used to everything being expressed in 140 characters or fewer.
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