Can You See My Body Language?

If 93% of communication in non-verbal, how are our children developing these skills that are essential for adulthood? Conversations have shifted from face-to-face to through-the-screen and shortened versions of words of what would be visual responses are everyday language (ya u can lol @ me). In my opinion, this is decreasing the quality of interpersonal relationships, some people are even losing interest in meeting people in person preferring to stay at home on social media.

Debatable I know….

Two research studies (Mehrabian & Wiener, 1967 and Mehrabian & Ferris, 1967) concluded that 93% of communication is non-verbal; 55% body language, 38% tone of voice and the remaining 7% is the actual words spoken.

A Common Site

Photo by Kindel Media on

We have all seen it, we’re out for dinner or at a get-together (although that seems like so many moons ago) and people are looking at their phones. They are not truly engaging or interacting with the actual human beings in front of them. Is this a display of complete uninterest or just socially acceptable now?

The repercussions are misunderstandings and miscommunications and the people closest to each other are growing farther apart. One article I read even mentioned people become bored with real, in person conversations. How do you learn real life social etiquette this way? Are our social media accounts even a true representation of who we are?

I was always taught the importance in what your body language says about you, eye contact conveys confidence, shifting your focus quickly can indicate insecurity or anxiety and crossing your arms shows disinterest or disagreement. How can you understand and feel the actual affect of what you said from a written response?

Am I Wrong to Worry?

I realize there are many positives to social media especially for people who do suffer with often debilitating social anxiety, mental health concerns and panic disorders. It creates an opportunity to connect with people from around the globe, people who share the same interests and ideas, and creating a support system with others who may be suffering with similar issues. I’m sure many of our children would have gone stir crazy without interaction with their friends during the current pandemic (speaking from experience).

Is it wrong to worry about real-life communication in future generations? Do you think social media is harming this? Or are we as parents, leaders and mentors responsible for instilling these values? I’ll ask my teenage daughter when she texts me from her room to ask what time dinner is and I respond with “idk”.

Facebook: Can You See My Body Language?

Twitter: #bodylanguage # socialmedia Can You See My Body Language?

4 thoughts on “Can You See My Body Language?

  1. Hi Robyn

    I enjoyed your blog about body language and the lack of real-life communications on future generations.

    In a study, about how new technology is impacting people, Susan Green, a British Neuroscientist, showed that technology may be inhibiting the development of creativity, and that linguistic and visual imagination in being hindered.

    Microblogging and text messaging do not have vocabulary and structure that is essential to sophisticated thinking or expression. The study concluded that technology is affecting our thinking, behaviour and altering our brains.

    Real life value comes from relationships with others. Technology limits the richness of human interactions and keeps relationships at a distance. (Taylor, 2011)

    Very thought provoking blog.

    Taylor, J. (2011, May 13). Psychology Today. Technology: virtual vs. real life: you choose.

    • Hi Kymberley,

      I’m glad you enjoyed it and were able to find other studies supporting my opinion and concern. Real life communication is important for all relationships and I hope everyone is able to find quality above quantity in their lives.


  2. Great blog Robyn!

    First, off I don’t think it is wrong to worry about communication of future generations. Almost everyone has son(s), daughter (s), niece (s), nephew (s), or cousin (s) which they worry about they are concerned for success of their social interactions. For example, I grew up in the 90’s so Tv culture was quite big, like anime, cartoons, and weekend thrill fests. Also, gaming. However, during that period in my life I was very introverted and self-conscious of my social actions so, I would use those activities mentioned above to avoid social interactions with others as much as possible.

    Although, despite these trappings from society, I do think to an extent it is a parents responsibility to instill the importance of social interaction. For example, during summer vacation my mother would always say, “You boys are not staying 6 hours in front of that Nintendo everyday for 4 months. Go outside, go to the park, and see your friends!” She was completely insistent on it. However, I always say, if I grew up in the current generation I would never be on social media but past evidence says otherwise. Furthermore, I read something before either in Psychology or Consumer Behavior that mentioned something like, “Everyone has something their obsessed with but it just depends on the type of drug.” Nevertheless, parent(s) do have a bit of a responsibility making sure children interact with others or find hobbies outside the virtual realm up until they turn 18 and are legal adults.

  3. Thanks for the interesting blog Robyn.

    There are so many dimensions to what you have expressed.

    I agree with what you have written and have experienced many sides of social media. Your concerns are certainly very legitimate.

    I believe the key is finding balance in a very conscious manner. Of course this applies in every segment of one’s life, but it seems to me that this area needs more attention.

    Getting caught up in social media can impact relationships in all dimensions. It does become an addiction. The phone or tablette becomes another appendage, an extension of oneself.

    But a person has the choice.

    Humans are social animals and need all types of interactions to be whole and to feel engaged in life.

    I tell my students, if you always have your eyes down how can you see the blue sky, the twinkle in a friend’s eyes, the smile of a stranger?

    Communication, of all types, is wonderful tool. Use it. Discover with it. And be in awe of what you find.

    Trust that the teaching you offer your kids are beautiful seeds if nourished will grow well.

    Don’t nag, don’t stress, be alert and present.

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