Not too long ago, it seemed a bit strange to see someone wearing a surgical mask or some other type of mask in a public place.
Even more interesting, it seemed the large majority of those that were wearing a mask, even before COVID-19, were Asian.
Going a little deeper on that, do you find it interesting that Asians have been waring face masks for decades, yet China’s civilization was still devastated by the coronavirus?
So do they really help? Or do they just make your face more itchy which causes you to touch it more often, putting you at greater risk…🤔?
I’ll let you think on that one.
Ultimately, where I want to get in this article is to get you thinking about what it will mean or look like to live in a world where all we see are eyes.
What I am calling, Our New Society.
There are 21 different facial expressions (7 microexpressions) that we use in communication and in reaction to things that happen to us and things that we observe.
Often we can know a persons intent, their state of mind, if they’re telling the truth, and how they are feeling, just by looking at their face.
With facial expressions being a huge part of social interaction, if, by wearing masks, we can only see somebodies eyes, will our society change?
Will people become more depressed, not getting the fulfillment they need from social interaction?
If you can’t see someones full face, you cant really tell if they want to interact, what their mood is and what their true response is.
What about crime? Would it be easier for someone to get away with crime, since their face is covered, you cant really identify them. And unless they are caught in the act, they may have a greater chance of escaping from the law.
While there are only a few states that have required you to wear a mask anytime you go outside and even using law enforcement to force people to comply/submit to this “rule”.
Up until now, wearing a mask has been a recommendation, or a suggested guideline in most states to “help reduce your chance of exposure”.
Now, stores are starting to ‘require’ that you wear a mask to enter the store.
I don’t suspect people will just stop wearing masks even if the government tells them they can stop. And as a result I could see face masks becoming a long-term trend like it has been in Asian countries and cultures for decades.
As a result, I have been contemplating what Our New Society will be like when the majority of the population starts wearing masks all the time.
Our New Society
As I already mentioned, before the coronavirus outbreak, it wasn’t uncommon to see Asian people wearing masks in public.
While there might be “health reasons” to wear masks, I’m concerned about the impact they will have on social conditions.
In another article about why Japanese people wear masks, one juvenile psychologist said:
“When we deal with others, we have to judge whether to do things like smile or show anger. By wearing a mask, you can prevent having to do that. The trend of wearing a mask to prevent directly dealing with other may have roots in the current youth culture in which many of them are more accustomed to communicating indirectly through email, [text messaging], and social media.”
As Jeff Yang called it, “Social Firewalls”.
Can we afford to create more ways for kids to distance themselves from society?
Is it possible that more women will start wearing masks on days they don’t have time (or feel like) to put on makeup?
That commercial might go something like this, ‘got out of bed late? No time to get ready? Get maskedup! Our newly crafted face masks…’.
Bad acne? Can you imagine this commercial? ‘Just wear one of these specially designed face masks to avoid any awkward interactions’.
Now we’re avoiding the hard things in life that help us build character.
While those that know me, it is no secret that I am not a fan of being in place where there are lots of people, and being an introvert, I am more likely to avoid people in public, I have noticed that people seem to be more closed off.
These recent changes such as social distancing, business closures, and stay-at-home orders might suggest these things to be the “new normal” of this New Society.
Will grocery stores continue senior hours, always require masks, and keep those silly distancing stickers that make it impossible to know where to line up anyway?
I recently joked in a Facebook post about the potential of shutting down the economy during flu season, but maybe it’s not so much a joke as I thought.
These newly established and highly excepted words and phrases like, “social distancing” and “stay-at-home orders”, could they simply be test runs to see how well we the people would comply or submit without the need to implement the more forceful approach of Martial Law?
If the government did decide that we need a new stay-at-home order, for whatever reason, would everyone simple just stop life and stay at home?
Fear is a powerful emotion. So as long as they use that strategy gain, once they issue the stay-at-home order, it might just work!
What do you think?
Do you interact less with people when you’re in public?
Do you find it difficult to identify the mood of those around you?
Are you concerned that it might be easier for someone to mug, harass, or even kill you and get away with it?
Do you care? Have you even thought about it?