Kids grow up looking at screens, can’t read emotions’

Kids grow up looking at screens, can’t read emotions’

Riches to rags and then riches again…that probably sums up Allan and Barbara Pease’s life story. The couple who lost their fortune and then rebuilt their careers as body language and communication experts now have 18 successful books to their name. In Delhi to attend the Times Litfest, they talk to Shobita Dhar about how virtual interactions are changing the way people interact

Non-verbal behaviour like body language is an important part of communication. Is that getting lost today when people mostly meet virtually?

What we are seeing is a big increase in younger people struggling to interact with each other face to face. Body language accounts for 60-80% of all human interaction in face-to-face encounters, and this is being lost in texts. New research has revealed

that Gen Y has around 10% less connections in the brain that identify others’ emotions than their parents have. This is because they are growing up looking at screens and not at people’s faces. So, Gen Y is less likely to know whether you are upset or whether you really like them.

India is gearing up for general elections next year. How can body language help us identify a good leader?

Look for openness gestures such as keeping their palms turned outwards and upwards while speaking in public, like Nelson Mandela or Barack Obama. An honest smile and a quick eyebrow flash (raising your brows to acknowledge someone) are signs of a person who can be trusted. Also look out for negative signals, like tightlipped-smiles, crossed-arms and constant face-touching.

Your book titles do sound sexist – ‘Why Men Lie and Women Cry’, ‘Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps’. How do you respond to this?

Any discussion of the biological differences between the sexes is likely to be read as sexist. Our books deal with the hard science behind our differences, and say that men and women are different — not better or worse. This can certainly make our books seem “politically incorrect” but we deal with the scientific realities of what works in real life, and what doesn’t.

You’ve written bestsellers on relationship issues. Do you think marriage is going out of style? After all, an increasing number of young people in cities is choosing to stay single .

Our expectations from the opposite sex have become complicated. For example, in addition to a having a fit body, ambition and the ability to provide women, today, also want men to be caring, understanding and be eloquent about their feelings. Similarly, young men now believe that women no longer need to be romanced — you just ask for sex and the woman says ’yes’ or ‘no’. None of these approaches work, and leave men looking like heartless individuals and women as demanding and confused.

Indians are famous for their unique head nod. How does body language analyse it?

That’s a tough one to decode as there are more than 20 possible meanings to the ‘Mumbai Head-Roll’, ranging from ‘yes’ to ‘maybe’ to ‘I hear you’. It’s a peculiarly Indian gesture that has a confusing impact on most non-Indians who generally have no idea how to interpret it

Oil retailers bet big on solar with easy loans

Cos Going Green To Cut Costs

Oil companies betting big on solar energy doesn’t sound ironic any more. Setting up solar power plants is not a token of commitment to the environment. Instead, it is making business sense as rising cost of running petrol pumps eat into dealer income.

No wonder India’s staterun fuel retailers are persuading petrol pump owners to go green by setting up solar power units. Experiments by IndianOil, the country’s largest fuel retailer, in 2015 showed running outlets on solar power costs less than burning diesel in generators to keep pumps running, especially in the hinterland.

Since then, IndianOil, which holds sway over nearly half of India’s fuel retail market, has been driving its dealers to switch to green power by arranging easy loans through a tieup with SBI and other assistance. Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum, too, have joined the bandwagon but have been slower.

“Solarisation of petrol pumps is part of IndianOil’s green commitment. Our target is to run 100% retail outlets on solar power in the next two years. The focus will be on rural areas where we have Kisan Seva Kendras (lowcost, stripped-down versions of petrol pumps),” IndianOil chairman Sanjiv Singh told TOI.

“A solar plant not only ensures continuous power but it ensures quality power and prevents equipment (at outlets) from tripping due to supply interruptions or (voltage) fluctuation. Pollution from generators is also checked,” Singh said.

All these result in uninterrupted operation and no loss of sales. Depending upon the size of the petrol pump, a 24 kw (kilo watt) rooftop photovoltaic system can reduce costs by more than Rs 7 lakh a year. This is nearly 50% less than the average annual electricity bill, based on commercial rates that are higher than domestic tariffs, for grid supply. There are other benefits too such as accelerated depreciation.

Power supply from the grid in rural areas and the hinterland still remain patchy and also suffer from low, high or fluctuating voltage. Petrol pump owners in these areas depend on generators, which pushes up running cost and eats into dealer margin.

(Source : Times of India)


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