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 Drop 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!