All things considered, one of the top things I miss is exchanging smiles with others.
While research may show that a smile hidden behind a mask can still be ‘heard,’ in my experience, it’s muffled.
This past year of wearing a mask in public has made me realize that I rely heavily on smiling to communicate with people I don’t know. Passing you on a sidewalk? I smile. Waiting at the corner to cross a street? I smile. Expertly zig-zagging in a grocery store? I smile.
It’s as important to communication as words. And it’s been silenced. To compensate, I find myself talking (i.e., a quick "hi") when I don’t want to. Smiles are the shortest, most to-the-pointest exchanges ever. So efficient. So warm. I miss them.
And P.S. research tells us the song is true.