Conversation… A lost art

Auguste_Renoir_ConversationAlas! Simple conversation has become a lost art! Do you remember the good ‘ol times? Yes! Those times when people would gather around a steamy cup of coffee to TALK and SHARE while actually LOOKING at each other.

It was nothing like these modern times when “acquaintances” meet and “spend time together” flickering and staring at small glowing screen while ignoring the person across the small table that might as well be an ocean because the emotional distance is about the same.

The vast majority of us carry those tiny devices with more computing power than the mission to the moon had and are supposed to become better individuals because we have all our information needs covered at our thumb-tips (is not finger tips! Come on, be honest and admit it, you only use your thumbs to operate your little magic box).

However, we took a wrong turn somewhere, because despite the sentimental mumbo jumbo about how technology is bringing us closer conveniently inserted into the slogan of every phone company we are really getting more isolated.

More than ever, we consume disposable content at a flabbergasting rate. Please note, is not information, because watching videos of cute cats can not be considered useful information. Don’t believe me, try this: Without looking at your phone, tell me what valuable information did you get out of the last 10 tweets you read.

Assuming you can actually remember the last 10 tweets you read (and that was probably just 5 minutes ago) you will be able to cite probably 1 maybe 2. The rest was content that your brain decided to discard because it had no practical value.

I am going on a limb here, but I would bet that the same ratio will apply for all the content you consume on the other popular social networks.

If I am partially correct, that means that let’s say 70% of the time you spend consuming all that useless content is a monumental waste of time. That time, could be invested in a meaningful conversation with your family, friends, significant other or a total stranger and that will really make you a more connected, informed and fulfilled person.

So, put down the phone, lift up your face and look at the person across the table and start talking! Let’s bring back the good old times when conversation was our preferred past time!

-Stein

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9 thoughts on “Conversation… A lost art

  1. Agree, to an extent. I definitely use technology to stay connected to distant friends and learn new things (like this blog!) but I find weird the need to fill every empty second with staring at a screen. I need some boredom, some downtime, for my brain to process what I’ve experienced during the day. (Jaye from Life Afloat)

    • Jaye,

      I think you are right. The technology give conversations a new angle. specially with people that are far away. Still, as you say, some “tech downtime” is needed from time to time. 🙂

  2. I agree with you, yet I’m very guilty. I love my iPad and iPhone a little too much.

    I have plenty of conversations with people everywhere I go. I also try very hard to not look at my phone during those conversations- it’s rude (unless you are an on-call surgeon).

    Great post! Thanks for the challenge to make me better!

    Davina

    • Davina,

      I hear you, I also have to make an effort not to look at my phone when talking to someone. But is working! Also I have notice that people try to do the same when talking to me… feels nice to have someone undivided attention from time to time! 🙂

    • Brenda!

      Never thought of that before… so true! How many times do we have to re-start the conversation because we forgot what we just said!.

  3. I love phones for their ability to keep me connected; however I must admit I get really irritated when I’m trying to talk with someone and they are “playing” on their phone. I’m not immune from it either. Sometimes I’ll go to look something up to share with a friend and then the conversation topic will change and I’ll just end up looking like I wasn’t giving them my full attention. 😦 This blog post is a great reminder though that sometimes that extra bit of information (whether a tweet, a cat video, or something of actual value) isn’t nearly as important as actually spending time with people. Besides, as you said, if it was really important, I would have remembered what it was and be able to talk about it freely without having to look it up. 🙂

  4. I have to agree that conversation is a lost art – especially during family get-togethers. And it’s not just the teens in the family, it’s the adults too! I saw this device on Facebook that looks like a big salt grinder but is actually some kind of wifi blocker. I really want to get one for the next big family dinner. 🙂

    • Carol,

      Never seen that device… but is looking awfully interesting… We once tried the old: whomever picks the phone first pays the bill… it did work and was fun… maybe you can use it too.

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