Expert: Kids Would Rather Text Than Socialize in Person [AUDIO]
Remember how exciting it used to be to go to a school dance? These events provided young people with an opportunity to interact and develop social skills, and they used to be extremely popular, but these days attendance at some school dances in New Jersey is declining.
Experts believe the increasing popularity of social media may be at least partially to blame.
Rutgers University sociology professor Deborah Carr said that for kids who mostly rely on texting to communicate, dances can be a little bit stressful.
"They involve asking someone to dance or go out on a date, which means face-to-face communication and physical touch," she said. "And if young people are accustomed only to communicating in this very kind of impersonal way, they may find all these new layers of closeness to be kind of intimidating and frightening."
Nevertheless, Carr stressed it's important for young people to learn skills like risk-taking, and how to face rejection in a graceful way.
"Texting kind of takes away the fear," she said. "If someone says, 'No, I don't want to go out with you,' over a text, that's very different than someone saying face to face, 'No, I don't want to dance with you,' but it's really important that young people learn how to communicate face to face, so they can come up instantly with smart responses, and they learn just to roll with things."
Carr said "they'll realize that asking someone to dance -- if they get a no -- isn't the end of the world, and that they'll just pick themselves up."