The human face is extremely expressive, able to convey countless emotions without saying a word. And unlike some forms of nonverbal communication, facial expressions are universal. The facial expressions for happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, fear, and disgust are the same across cultures.
Many songwriters have told us to smile.
We also know that there are a multitude of health benefits that boost our health when we smile. Researchers have even found that people who smile are often perceived as being younger than their actual age.
I live in a country where I cannot yet speak the language (I know, it is no excuse, even I am fed up with myself that I have been so lazy). However this is the situation. This means that when I go shopping my human interaction does rely on the facial expressions of people and the tone of their voice.
Facemasks, although are probably limiting the spread of the coronavirus, make shopping a totally stale and lifeless environment. When people speak it is more difficult to hear them, and of course it completely takes away any facial reaction let alone a smile. And of course people are scared so our built in protection and survival systems are limiting us to have less interaction with people. We have to keep telling ourselves this time will pass. We have to remember what it is like for the people who don’t have hearing. We have to imagine what it is like for our children who don’t really understand how, in a world that is so advanced in communication technology, we are now so disconnected as society. We have to remember to not let the fear divide us.
Ben and David share their thoughts.