Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The lost art of conversation

Photo by Carolyn Ryan

I miss the 90s. The days when there were no smartphones/cellphones, tablets, PDAs, etc when electronics weren't so pervasive everywhere in our lives.

As someone who works with computers, technology, and media, I am hard pressed to find respite from the daily maelstrom of technology. I had a realization though as I left my phone somewhere, and was able to enjoy a meal with people, and not being constantly tethered to the internet and the electronic ether. The art of the conversation is sadly a dying art though still an integral skill to daily life. But I can't remember when the last time I've had people fully immersed in reality where there is no crutch (of checking their phone) when they feel like the conversation is dying. I have respect for the awkward pause and lulls in conversation. It is only as awkward as you make it out to be. I'd rather have a lull and pause than have one of the people in the conversation suddenly check their phone for e-mail or whatnot (though I fully admit to having done this before), to avoid gazes or to avoid being in that situation. It's both lazy and i
irrespectful, though I will give the credit that most just use it as an exit strategy.

Sometimes it's good to just be unplugged. To be free from electronic chains and be uncomfortable in trying to talk. I can only choose for myself to unplug myself when I am out with friends, though I hope other people feel the same way and be able to experience just being connected to each other, immersed and fully engaged, and not being connected to somewhere else.

Yearning to connect with people at a deeper level, and yet it seems every day forward it gets harder and harder to do.

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