Are You Angry Of Sad? I Can’t Tell

One of the most disturbing side effects of technology of our times is people’s inability to read non-verbal behaviors. Let me make this more sweet and personal. Your grandkids are losing their ability to “read” people because of overuse of that smartphone of theirs. Is it that big of a problem that kids are constantly on their cell phone? Yeah! In fact, I am afraid that our kids will be unable to navigate through life effectively because of their inability to decode facial expressions and gestures.

Listen carefully: Our kids are not able, in a number of instances, to read people in the land of Uncle Sam. This gross lack of face-to-face interaction is having a tremendous impact on how people live and make a living these days, especially children. Lack of rhetorical sensitivity, or people lacking the ability to encode or sometimes state spoken messages will backfire very soon in a city near you. I predict that this lack of basic communication skills is going to eventually turn into a crisis of identity which in itself has a S curve of its own. How ironic? The more technology we have, the lower the ability for people to develop great communication skills. Many people swear that the smartphone is so great for us. I beg to differ.

Look, I am very concerned that the next generation of Cleveland children will be unable to identify critical emotional cues of survival or have the ability to understand the emotions of other people. How can anybody deny that all this technology is causing more damage than good? Another irony of this is that societal and business sustainability is directly related to one’s ability to relate! Transactions, as my colleague Toni once said, isn’t the answer to solving problems in 2018! I agree and completely believe she is totally right about that.

Cleveland, Tennessee! Technology is just a tool nothing more than that! It isn’t the solution to all of our problems and overusing it will, sooner or later, backfire. Technology is destroying the social skills of your children. Let me say this differently: the smartphone has destroyed a generation of future communicators to a point of no return. We are going to read, in five years or so, the tragedy that social media has done to children. I can even see a headline on the banner reading, “As Dr. A Once Said: We Lost A Whole Generation To The Smartphone.”    

Can you imagine your children not being able to distinguish between an angry, sad, or a surprised face? Which implications do you think this can cause? I can think of at least five instances where not being able to distinguish between emotions can handicap your child for life. Think about trust or shall we say one’s lack of ability to judge whether a person is trustworthy or not. I cannot imagine a society where people are unable to differentiate who is suffering or who is celebrating yet we are so close to this reality.

I don’t want my daughter to grow up without knowing how to differentiate emotions. There is no way I will allow her to use the smartphone more than an hour a day. I refuse to do it. In my household we value reading and speaking not spending hours on end on social media. My wife and I are in agreement that our daughter Sophia must be able to develop the required skills to differentiate between emotions. She needs to know when daddy is happy or sad for her benefit.

Ladies and gentleman, we live in a weird world where we are allowing a microchip to destroy our society from within — all in the name of technology. I know that most of you agree with me because we have had so many conversations around town about technology which by the way, I thank you for it. We are in this boat together, Cleveland. Your children and grandchildren deserve better! They need mommy and grammy to play with them and teach them non-verbal behaviors so that they can develop great social skills. They don’t need more technology to make them more blind. Block technology once in a while! Your kid will thank you later in life.