Can Johnny Read Nonverbal Cues?

Wall Street Journal has an opinion piece arguing social networking puts younger people at a face-to-face disadvantage. Although younger generations are communicating at a hurried and increased pace with a variety of technological gadgets, many of their communication tools involve the exchange of written words alone. The author argues they "are ever less likely to develop the "silent fluency" that comes from face-to-face interaction. It is a skill that we all must learn, in actual social settings, from people (often older) who are adept in the idiom. As text-centered messaging increases, such occasions diminish. The digital natives improve their adroitness at the keyboard, but when it comes to their capacity to "read" the behavior of others, they are all thumbs."

Interesting observation. In the dozens of successful con artists we have investigated over the years, almost all were described by friends and victims (who were often former friends or lovers) as having highly evolved social skills--charming in all the bad ways. If someone gave off signs saying they were a victim, these guys read that message and pounced.