With the increased use of technology, including social media, texting and emails, people are having less face-to-face communication, reducing the ability to build meaningful rapport.
According to Eva Bennett, author of As Time Goes by – Dealing with Life’s Changes, missing out on eye contact is stopping people from communicating effectively.
“The use of non-verbal clues like eye contact is one of the most important ways to communicate effectively, to enhance what we are saying,” Eva says.
“We respond better to these body language signs, than we do to the written word, which can hide the true feelings behind the written words.
“It’s quite common these days, to see people in cafes and someone in the group, making more eye contact with their mobile phone, than the people they are with.
“Face-to-face contact, conveys how we feel, holds attention, encourages listening brings passion to the spoken word and makes communication more interesting and alive.”
Eva also promotes the importance of exercising our eyes.
“Eye strain occurs when we spend too much time in front of screens from a set distance,” she says.
“Getting out and about, gives our eyes a break, gets the eyes moving in different directions, varying distances, near and far, gazing at what is around us, even making eye contact with people as we walk past them, nodding, smiling, saying hello. It is even more important to do this at the end of a day at work, especially if you spend much of your work time in front of the computer.. A lot of good can be achieved in 20-30 minutes.”