Eye contact is a dangerous thing

Steve Perotti, TSV Opinions Editor

In the animal kingdom prolonged eye contact is often a sign of challenge, and it’s most definitely the same when it comes to people.

Have you ever been walking down a hallway on campus and noticed someone staring at you? Of course you have. Or, while walking into a classroom, you lock eyes with someone walking out. Who looks away first? What happens if neither party looks away at all? Eye contact can be a very dangerous thing, and some people don’t know that and it gets them into trouble.

Depending on who you are and where you’re from, eye contact can be two very different things. In America it’s often a good thing to look people in the eyes when you’re speaking to them. It shows respect and it lets you know that you’re taking them seriously. In Japan, however, it’s a cultural taboo to try and hold eye contact with someone that you’re speaking to because it will make them uncomfortable.

In some households children are raised knowing that eye contact is something that needs to be respected, but there are even more homes where this doesn’t happen. Who do you think gets into more fights, the former or the latter? There are some neighborhoods and areas that help people to learn this lesson very quickly while growing up, and it’s a shame that it isn’t a universal lesson.

If you’re from the wrong side of the tracks, or from a hard part of town, than you know what the real world is like. You know that if you lock eyes with another man, or another woman, than you are insinuating one of two things: either you want to hook up, or you want to fight. Sadly, the majority of people in the day to day world don’t realize that there are implications behind such actions.

We’ve all been at a bar, sometimes during happy hour or some other discounted drinking time, and witnessed a fight break out because someone didn’t like the way that someone else was looking at them. It happens all the time, but have you ever sat back and wondered why? Human beings, regardless of how high and mighty we think we are, are animals. We see ourselves as the pinnacle of evolution, and the top of our respected food chain, but there is one truth in the animal kingdom that it is in our best interests to recognize: you don’t lock eyes with another animal unless you want to fight them or make babies with them. A simple enough rule to remember, but it’s amazing how many people won’t grasp it. Maybe everyone should be taken out of their plush environments for a little while while they’re young so they can learn some real life lessons in the really real world.