If you walk across a typical town or city street across the world today, you will likely find a vast majority of people you pass to be carrying a handheld mobile device or PDA of some description.
Technological advancements have lead to heightened levels of communication via e-mail or text wherever we find ourselves, but on the flipside, a negative implication of our love for gadgets could be seeing our conversational and interpersonal skills rapidly decreasing.
Fighting for Attention
In halcyon days gone by, traditional conversation would have consisted of largely undivided attention and regular eye contact to truly engage and listen with the person you choose to speak to. Eye contact has developed as a vital body language signal cue which can be as important as any form of verbal communication for providing a necessary indication of interest or otherwise in how someone responds to what you have to say. Nowadays, smartphones and tablets have the ability to interrupt this natural form of communication by dividing the interest of the mind and the gaze of our eyes between person and screen.
There is arguably nothing more infuriating than looking at a family member, friend or colleague while in mid sentence to discover they are staring blankly at a screen, seemingly ignoring the fact that an actual human being with the ability to talk back has been replaced by a device comprised of intricate electrical circuits.
Even if eye contact is lost only for a few moments while they check a message, the natural flow of conversation has been lost, leading to repetition of a question, joke or imparting of considered enlightening information, seeing a mobile phone becoming the proverbial â??elephant in the roomâ??, as a repeated source of utmost frustration for those on the receiving end of its apparent technological wonder.
Fear of Eye Contact
Having a smartphone or PDA available in moments of boredom is obviously a plus point in having such a gadget, with lengthy waits for buses or trains no longer such a chore thanks to possible interaction with friends and information on sports or news stories available at the touch of a button.
The danger is that a mindset could be created amongst modern society whereby a genuine fear of leaving the house without such a device would instill fear amongst those who wish to negate social interaction and eye contact with their peers as much as possible.
A mobile phone can become a subconscious crutch when in social groups of unfamiliarity or when conversation is sparse, leading to the worrying thought of future generations only talking or looking at each other when they must, or when staring at a phone is simply not considered socially acceptable, as if we are destined to become a society of tech orientated robots.
Jamie blogs about lifestyle for Direct Sight who help you buy glasses online.