Every week there seems to be a new article or blog post telling us how the ‘art’ of conversation has been lost. They tell us that the invention and growth of social media and smart phones means that we aren’t talking to people anymore. The articles make reference to seedy chat rooms and faces in phones instead of paying attention to the conversation around them.
I for one am sick to death of hearing this. Conversations aren’t lost, people are still talking to other people, they are just doing it through a different medium. Sure technology has been advancing in leaps and bounds over the last few years, but I don’t think that it needs to be the doom and gloom that people are proclaiming it to be.
I’ll be the first to admit that I probably spend a bit too much time on social media. It’s the first thing I check in the morning and the last thing I read at night. However, I also have friends who I spend time with in real life. We hold conversations, we take photos of our kids and we generally have a good time. We don’t have our heads in our phones the whole time we are together.
I also have people who I count as friends from all over the world. I interact with these people online, through various social media platforms. Not all of our conversations are deep and meaningful of course, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t real conversations. These conversations aren’t less real because they aren’t being said face to face. Just like, on the flip side, online bullying isn’t any less real than face to face bullying.
Currently my best friends live at least 7 hours away and one lives in another country. None of us like talking on the phone. So without social media and technology, we would be forced to keep in contact via good old snail mail and we all know how reliable that is. I also met many of my good friends who I catch up with in real life online. Sure, some of it has come back to bite me on the arse but that could happen with anyone. Meeting someone through a mutual friend, work or any other traditional ways isn’t a guarantee that you will click with them.
I think that it is actually quite offensive to say that any conversation held online doesn’t matter because it’s not the same as face to face conversation. I find it offensive because some of the best support I have received has been from people I have met online. I will probably never get the opportunity to meet these people online and yet I still call them friends. When I mention them in my day to day life I call them friends.
The art of conversation isn’t lost, it’s just changing. The world is constantly changing, we just need to learn to grow with it.
Do you believe the art of conversations is lost?
Where did you meet your best friend?