A couple weeks ago I blogged about young people's tendency to text frequently with cell phones and Instant Messaging, and their penchant for posting tons of inane, trivial details on FaceBook, MySpace or Twitter. I noted that nonverbal communication such as eye contact, body language, and tone of voice is lost when people rely so much on text messaging, and that the substance of messages has been severely downgraded by overuse of electronic communication and a lack of self-restraint or modesty.
In the past couple days I came across two good articles — both from the Wall Street Journal — reaffirming what I said. This piece discusses how an entire generation is utterly devoid of appreciation for the "silent language" of mannerisms, gestures, body language, etc., and also can exhibit rude behavior by obsessing over electronic gadgets during business meetings. HINT: Don't be texting or checking text messages in the conference room while the boss is talking. It won't go over well!
The second piece adds a new twist: Facebook (and probably other social network sites) can adversely affect friendships and relationships. I hadn't thought of that aspect, but it makes sense. People often post things on web pages that they wouldn't share with someone in person, or make statements that they would not have the guts to say to someone's face.
To those who are interested in this topic, I encourage you to follow the links and read these two worthwhile columns.