Social Skills: The Downfall
Is technology hindering the social skills of teens?
Technology & Social Skills:
What social skills are being influenced?
A plethora of basic social skills are impaired by increased technological use. Such social skills that are hindered include:
Eye Contact: With more and more teens staring at a screen all day, the knowledge of staring people in the eyes when conversing has faded (Manke). Maintaining eye contact during a conversation is not only an important interviewing skill, but it also is a characteristic of an honest person.
Conversational Skill: When someone is conversing with another, they are required to reply immediately and appropriately. As teens use technology more, they are no longer adapted to this conversational environment. Instead, they are accustomed to an environment where they can answer when they feel like doing so through texting or commenting on social networking sites. Because they are not used to the quick repartee with others, teens are now unable to maintain even the simplest of conversations. Attention span is also a major aspect in physical conversing; however, it is also one of the least developed quality in teens. They are so used to the unlimited internet-access that they are easily bored with a normal conversation, and they choose to go on their devices instead (Manke).
Spatial Awareness: When trapped in their own technological world, teens find it hard to be aware of their own surroundings. Rather than paying attention to the things around them, teens focus solely on their devices. In doing so, they are put in danger of harmful events, embarrassing themselves, or in aggravating the people around them (Manke).
Self-regulation: Lastly, self-regulation has been on the decline. This regulation includes controlling "our own emotions and behavior" (Bindley). Despite being put into situations where social interaction is involved, teens cannot control themselves from constantly checking their phones or putting in headphones to drown out reality. Because of this, teens cannot control themselves behaviorally in keeping the technology away even for a short period of time.