Over the last several months, I have spoken to more parents, teachers and coaches than I have students. It seems adults are still trying to figure out this digital generation of kids. Imagine that. The question below came from a woman who is both a mother and a teacher:
Question: My sixteen-year-old daughter is an EXCELLENT “texter”. I am fighting her weekly to do something as old fashioned as CALLING someone in place of texting. I am concerned that she will grow up without social skills that she will need in a day-to-day life in work and social gatherings. I know times have changed, but are my concerns valid? We as a culture these days, try to expose our kids to all kinds of extra curricular activities from a very early age. I would hate for teens today to miss out on the art of face-to-face talking.
Answer: For whatever it’s worth—I share your concern. I’m certain it feels old fashioned to students for us to want them to know how to actually converse, face to face, but I don’t think the need for this skill will go away soon. Employers I talk to want team members that have good emotional intelligence, which includes social skills. My good friend, Tom Thomas, owns a company called Cardinal Advisors. He spends much of his time working with NCAA programs, helping student athletes learn manners and social skills. He is in demand, working with over 400 schools, and helping students prepare for interviews and jobs. He is teaching a lost art.