Hello and good afternoon from the Columbia TouchPoint office!
As I was driving down the road this morning I was thinking upon my upcoming Sunglasses Experiment. As I have said before, I am deeply puzzled by eye contact and I want, no must know why it is difficult. That got me thinking that there was something else that puzzled me like this six years ago.
Six years ago and more I was equally puzzled by the concept of personal communications. It was difficult to practice in person because there was so much input from another person. Be it posture, eye movement, or minor twitches, the end result was a overload that made me think more on the physical than the actually conversation.
Think of it this way; If you are trying to listen to a television show, but a marching band is marching through your living room while a dozen cats are having a hissing battle on your couch all the while a air show is taking place 600 feet above your house. Do you think you would be able to concentrate and hear the television show? Probably not and so too I was unable to talk to people because I was too busy trying to decipher what all the physical cues meant even though I was, and am, clueless as to what they mean.
In 2004 I started playing over Xbox Live, and at first I was afraid of using the headset to talk to the people I was playing with. However, over time, I did and guess what, I started talking and little by little I got better at the art of conversation. Communication opened up because there was no physical cues to process. I was able to practice and succeed because there was no proverbial marching band to distract me.
I found that with myself I was able to have a conversation, but was always overwhelmed by all the other aspects of having someone in my presence. After years of practice, communications are now easy and it is done on the subconscious level so it is more of a reflex so even if I do get overwhelmed trying to figure out all the physical cues I am still able to communicate.
With all that being so I wonder if these sunglasses I will wear will allow me to practice eye contact much like I practiced communication over Xbox Live. Can I train myself to look at the eye and stop the over thinking that I have always done? This question can't be answered now, but we shall see next month if this is the case.