Has the Mobile Phone Killed the Art of Conversation?

Has technology hurt the art of conversation?

 

What do you think? Just look around you in any direction. What do you see? Strangers opening up a friendly dialogue with one another? Or do you see nothing but “zombies” literally hypnotized by that little device  in their hands called a cell phone? But what is wrong with this picture?

A Personal Observation

No one can argue how the invention of the iPhone, the Android, the Blackberry, or the Smartphone, has made life a little easier in recent times. But this is my observation: Just recently I was talking to a workmate who was having a disagreement with a close personal friend of hers. I asked her did she tell her how she felt? She said I did in a text. I said you need to talk to her face-to-face. The problem was, she never did confront her. The art of conversation-where has it gone? Because of the mobile phone, not only are people not conversing but not even willing to talk face-to-face as in this case!
On another occasion at a public location a woman told a gentleman sitting next to her how she liked his  mobile phone-a simple gesture that should have triggered at the least some dialogue. The gentleman glued to his iPhone 5, didn’t even looked up or said a simple “thank you.” Not that it really mattered that much to me, but perhaps you have experienced something similar yourself.  Which leads to the  question:  Are mobile phones killing the art of conversation? Are people slowly losing the natural way of speaking to one another, giving at least the appearance of people being rude or ill-mannered in the process?

The Declining Art of Conversation

There was a time when carrying a conversation was truly an art. It was something people looked forward to and most people knew how to start and engage someone in a friendly conversation. It was interesting to find out simple things like where are you from?  What are your likes or dislikes?  And what do you do? People took a genuine interest in other people. But that was then and this is now! According to the PEW Research Center, 13% of cell owners [have] pretended to be using their phone in order to avoid interacting with the people around them. It’s true that no one can argue the tremendous benefits that we receive from cell phones usage-but does it come at some cost?

The Emergence of Social Media 

Just as mobile phones has capture the world, at the same time so has social media. With the emergence of social media on the internet, and the fact that organizations are learning how to use it to reach people, we are forced to go back to reinstate this simple and valuable art- the art of engagement and conversation. Yes, social media in some ways is taking us back to “school.”

Now as for the individual on the outset of this article-did she ever engage in a real conversation with the person she was having the disagreement with? She had a difficult time doing so. She still wanted to communicate only by texting. So don’t be like this workmate- don’t be a zombie glued to a device in your hand ConversationDrop the text messaging and talk to one another-just talk! Remember it’s people that makes the world go around not technology! So make good use of your mobile device, but don’t let it kill the one of the greatest gift we have as humans-the art of conversation!

I hoped liked this post on mobile phone use and the art of conversation. What do you think? What is your observation? Please leave your comments below.

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Avoid Bad Conversations

One of the most interesting and fun parts of having a social media site is being able to jump into any conversation you feel you can share an idea or opinion about with people from all different parts of the world. Working as a social media virtual assistant, where marketing is one of your main goals, the conversation pieces you hold are necessary. However, the quality and legitimacy of those conversations really do matter.

As much as building relationships, human-to-human, is important, the quality of those relationships is also important. You may recognize that when meeting someone in person, you want to be approachable, sophisticated, and proper. Conversations that take place on social media sites should also fit within these guidelines. Conducting yourself in a professional manner shouldn’t end until you’re not working.

It’s normal to have bad conversations and good conversations. Bad ones may consist of mono voices, endless sentences, and quirky ways of expression. Good ones could also include quirkiness, but will also include meaning, depth, and less face value.
The point here is are you paying enough attention to yourself and the way you conduct your conversations? As a social media marketer or manager, most of your clients hired you because of your ambition, goals and the way you spoke to them. They don’t have much more to go off of other than how you speak and your past track record.

When you’re alone, start thinking and ask yourself some questions. How would I sound to a complete stranger? What would I say? What would I say about myself? When you’re out and about, think about the conversation you just had with the cashier or waitress. Also think about how you speak when you are at work. Being self-aware can give you more of an intelligent and professional outlook, which is very important as a social marketing assistant.

Great conversations start with positive behavior including, thoughtfulness, sharing yourself, empathy for others, and conveying insights or ideas in a positive manner. However, even when you are starting out positive it can end up in a bad place. Here are 4 ways to avoid a bad conversation:

1. Don’t be overly blunt when asking questions.

When asking questions to another person, don’t turn into a Combat Captain. Let the questions spawn organically, not brutally. Let the conversation unfold and ask questions so it can do so, but don’t pry and pry and come off too stern. That’s scary.

2. Difference of Opinion? It’s ok, embrace it!

Instead of just trying to get your point across and only giving a basic acknowledgement of the other person’s idea or opinion, even if you hate it, say more that “yea-yea.” You want to engage the person and the conversation, whether to move them towards what you think is right or not, we’re all humans and we’re entitled to our opinions. You’ll have a much better chance of swaying them your way if you just talk about it rather than shrugging it off.

3. Don’t go overboard when talking about yourself.

The last thing a person wants to hear is a two hour conversation, where the one person speaks the entire time and it’s all about them and their life. It’s boring, wasteful, and just rude. Try to avoid this at all costs. However, in my experience, to get someone on your good side and make them feel welcome, do remember to ask questions about them. It creates a more comfortable atmosphere and portrays that you care.

4. Short, Cryptic, One Way Statements = Bad

I love being witty, wise or a smarty-pants, whatever you want to call it, but there is a time and place for things like this, such as at home or once you know a person well and they know your personality. If you continue on this way, you may come off as a bit cold or mean. I know you probably don’t intend it to be that way, but not all people are like you so it’s better to just be personable rather than disengaged and short.

Great conversations are fluid, have depth, and are stimulating. They allow for connections to be made and can inspire. As a social media assistant and marketer, language is our art and we should provide the best. Working on the art of conversation can help you personally and professionally and overall, enrich your daily life.

By Dawn Pigoni of http://besocialworldwide.com

 

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