I’m seeing the desire for Eye Contact everywhere….
Working with a science fair recently I was pulling examples of the rubric for judging. As I looked everything mentioned eye contact. Knowing that ASD (autism) affects eye contact in some individuals and eye contact can feel so uncomfortable…. I was really nervous about including eye contact as a requirement.
As I became aware, I realized I was seeing more mention of eye contact. A friend teaching a class that included speaking was mentioning how the modern generation isn’t as comfortable looking people in the eye. I noticed it mentioned in hints for job interviews…. and it’s mentioned in an article here on Medium as a way to determine if a person is racist.
During the judging of the fair, I was more aware of how the students were trying eye contact. As I watched a student that I knew was on the spectrum, the student would try to maintain eye contact with me, but I have a hard time maintaining eye contact for long. Eyes must look somewhere and for me it was tough when the speaker was trying to look me in the eye.
So, what’s the best plan? Even people that were aware of issues with eye contact still make reasons why it is necessary. How necessary is it and how to raise awareness about why eye contact might be absent are questions that should be added to discussions?