Ignoring somebody used to be an art form. It took skill, determination and stealth. With low brimmed hats or conveniently placed newspapers, you were only seen if you wanted to be seen.

Nowadays, it is far too easy to be contacted, stalked and “creeped on.”  However, the point of ignoring somebody is to make it subtle. You wouldn’t want anyone to know that you’re avoiding him or her. Not that avoiding people is a nice thing to do, but sometimes it just has to be done. In our world today, communication is far too simple; it doesn’t even have to be face-to-face anymore.

Even hiding behind a computer isn’t private, as Facebook now uses read receipts on chat, to allow your chat partner to know when you’ve read their message.

I think that this development on Facebook speaks volumes about the way our world works today.

With these read receipts, it seems as though we have no say in who we do and do not talk to, as if you simply choose not to engage in conversation with someone, they will know. These receipts make conversation a forced interaction, when it most definitely should not be like that.

In our generation, we are in constant contact with one another. Peace and quiet really don’t exist anymore.  We need to make little or no effort to reach out to somebody and communicate. With this decreased need for effort, our communication skills are dwindling. People become increasingly awkward when forced to talk face-to-face. Social media is putting us all at a disadvantage.

We lack the skills to speak in front of people. It is sad to see the ways in which we have digressed. It is alarming to think of the ways in which social media will continue to affect the generations to come, as we will continue to lose some of our most basic communication skills.

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