Poor Communication Skills, Lack of Face-to-Face Time, My Childhood Was Wonderful - A Body Language Expert's Perspective

When I was growing up, the neighborhood kids all knew each other and whose mom made the best cookies.  We played outside all day and we didn’t have to come home till the streetlights came on.  Our moms would leave a big pitcher of “Kool Aid” and yummy snacks on the kitchen table if we wanted to swing by and grab lunch.  We would have adventures, minnow fishing, tree house building, secret forts, and hikes up the creek. We would play games in the street. red light green light, softball and Simon says. We would pretend we were the Beatles and the Partridge family and give concerts. We would get on our bikes together and ride miles to the shopping center. We had enormous freedom. We felt powerful and creative and limitless.  

Now so many kids seem to stay glued to the TV from all day and late into the night or they are on their other electronic devices. I see the effect of the lack of face-to-face in my work training those kids as they go into the workplace. They don’t know how to communicate with each other. If you don’t grow up modeling your parents communication over and over again, for example at the family dinner table or with your gang of friends, you don’t learn the complexities or body language and paralanguage so you cannot read another person’s emotions and you don’t know simple interaction skills like “Turn Taking” or how to ask a question, and listening.
In my book “SNAP Making the Most of First Impressions Body Language and Charisma” I discuss what you can do about this to improve your own skills and some of the scientific that explain the problems with using technology too much.  For example:  “When you talk to other people face-to-face you lay down neural pathways to the social centers of your brain.  The more you interact interpersonally human to human the stronger the pathways become. Meeting people and talking to them becomes easier and you become more skilled and confident and make a great first impression

When you interact with a technological device you make quick shallow decisions, such as, “I want this text. I don't want this text. ““I want this website it’s interesting. I don't want this one it’s boring” “I want to take this call.” “I don’t want to take this call.” These quick shallow decisions lay down pathways to the ego centers of your brain. In fact, doing so gives you a bit of a high and makes you feel superior to those around you. You can now understand the techno jerk that seems irritated and uncomfortable to have to talk to you. Unfortunately, to successfully make quick shallow decisions you have to weaken pathways to the social centers of your brain. You’re laying your tracks down to the ego center that produces that nice addictive high but interpersonal communication becomes more difficult and may even feel like an inferior means of interacting. Something you are "above" having to do. “

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com. Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.