Is The Art of Conversation Dead???

13 Oct

I always like to talk about things that have happened to me personally and this week’s topic is no different, but is a very broad subject.

This week I have chosen to talk about our human contact face to face, actual face to face conversations and how technology has taken over allowing us to have these previously precious moments less and less.

Sit back and think how many times in the last week did you actually sit down and have a stimulating conversation with someone that lasted more than ten minutes? I’m not talking about gossiping with friends and I’m definitely not talking about any form of interaction via BBM, Whatsapp, Facebook, Email, Twitter, phone, Skype or any other way you may choose to contact those close to you?

So, here I am lying in bed this week with my husband and when I turn to talk to him I realise he is asleep!!! (He groaned when I said i was going to write about this, he really must be careful in future what he does as I will tell the world) I then update my BB with the question “Is the Art of Conversation Dead?” I wandered if I had I bored him to sleep, but then came to the conclusion he was actually just tired. When he woke up and read my status a while later he apologised and tried to get back on the right side of me, as I wandered some more!!! We both work shifts and between, school runs, after school activities and having a social life, I realised a lot of our conversations are through email, Facebook, over the phone and BB.

Shock horror, my marriage must be doomed, we don’t talk as much as we used too, how can we possibly survive if we don’t communicate? The reality is we don’t have time to sit down and have cosy chats, sometimes ten minutes is all we have before the other one flies out the door on a kids taxi run, errand or work trip. But we are still communicating, just in a different way. Communication has evolved and I guess we have too. In a way, it means that those in relationships have to work that bit harder. If you are spending most of the time having conversations via technology your relationship looses it’s intimacy and when you are together you may not have a lot to say!! They sayVideo Killed the Radio Star perhaps technology has killed the art of face to face conversation?

I’m not going to lie, everyone who is reading this will know, I spend most of my life either with the phone to my ear or updating my BB, twitter or Facebook. I love social networking, I’m a bit of an addict. My sister says we have platinum Facebook membership. Other people’s lives interest me, it gives me writing ideas. I love the gossip and the scandal, but also having the ability to contact those I want to contact with a click of a button. If it was not for social networking, I wouldn’t have started a blog and wouldn’t be able to share what I have to say so widely? Most of my trips out are planned through BB and Facebook. I’m not saying I would not go out if they were unavailable to me, but I will say they make my life easier!!! There are times however when you just want to shut yourself away from the world, I have days when I want to lock myself in a cupboard, but with technology that’s impossible.

This week Blackberry Messenger has died throughout most parts of the world and I admit to being on the “BB Hype”. I was amazed that this could actually happen, no internet, no BB, twitter or FB. What did I do I hear you cry? I picked up my laptop and moved on!! Yes it was quite upsetting, I was more pissed off that I was paying for something I couldn’t use, rather than being pissed that I could not connect with those I needed or wanted to. I actually had a nice first day without it, had a visit from an old friend and went to visit an old friend. Which meant, I was able to get the face to face connections I needed. Plus, not having BB meant people who I needed or needed me, had to use the phone. Social networking and phones do allow us to connect with people in ways we couldn’t before and also makes it hard for people to disapper if they are consumed by the hype that is technology.

In times past some people didn’t even have a house phone and we have to remember, mobile phones only became very popular in the late 90’s. I guess once a new form of technology comes our way we all want to jump on it, some more than others. Over the past few weeks everyone has rushed out to by the new iPhone 4S and Fifa 12 game. But, in years to follow these will be things of the past, as replacements and upgrades become available.

When I was thinking about writing this piece, I started to think about how technology and social networking has affected us in different ways, there are positives and negatives. A positive for me would be:

  • You can contact people quickly and easily
  • Ordering stuff online saves time (If the post people deliver it)
  • You can look up anything you need to know (I love Wiki and Google)
  • Computers and TV can be used a learning tools

Negatives would be, that I’m infact useless with technology and usually need someone to explain things to me or get someone to do it for me. I also though about internet dating and how you could arrange to meet up with someone you believe to be gods gift to men but  who ends up to be a complete freak. We also no the dangers of children and young people visiting chat rooms and being prayed upon by older men pretending to be you girls and boys.

I started to think mostly about education, how text talk and slang have affected the way we write. More so for children and young people. Some of the abbreviations people use on texts, BB, Twitter and Facebook are difficult to understand. It took me ages to work out what SNM meant (Say no more) which could easily have been confused with S&M (a form of physical role-playing). It is quite easy as this example shows for someone using abbreviations or slang to be totally misunderstood. If we are forever using abbreviations and slang, when we actually have to write something, we may struggle with words that are standard English.

Just imagine an essay posing the questions:

What do you think Shakespear was thinking when he wrote Romeo and Juliet?

What do you think is the meaning of the story?”

Answer: I think shakespeare was gassed when he wrote Romeo and Juliet. The beef between the Capulets and Montagues was peak. When they died at the end it was mad emotional but I think the moto is, give air to those who your family don’t like to stay alive!

I actually made that up myself. But it could happen and what happen’s when new slang terms and abbreviations are actually being accepted into modern day English? as the following article shows Death of the Cassette

Cassette is going to be removed from the dictionary, to be replaced by more popular words such as Retweet. Those not on Twitter won’t have a clue what this means! My four year old son will never know what a video was, let alone a cassete player. So I suppose we are just moving with the times!!!

When I asked people what they thought about the art of conversation being dead one friend said this:

“Due to Facebook, BBM, Whats App and even unlimited texting, there is hardly any reason to actually call anyone. Apart from your bank, insurance company or anything to do with national insurance. Although, actual spoken conversation’s are becoming less needed, I find that more is said through written word. An example of this is, I didn’t talk to someone as much as I could have and got a letter saying they were in prison. I wrote back and actually filled 3 pages, we actually converse more now than ever. If you look through your call history and compare the length of each phone call to the amount that is said in a text you will see my point. I love face to face conversation as you get to read body language and facial expression. Where as written word can be interpreted in any way and most often is misread!!!”

Which also made me think, I love writing, BB, Twitter, Facebook and even this blog, all allow me to express the way I feel without wasting any breath at all. Sometimes when I want a good rant, Facebook is the first place I go. If people know how I’m feeling, they know to approach with caution, but simlarly if I see a close friend with a sad Facebook status, I’ll give them a ring.  Just to make sure they are ok.

I guess, sometimes written word’s can be more powerful than spoken word. As a realist I like to tell people how it is, however sometimes I don’t think before I speak (Which often offends people!!!)  When writing things down, you have more time to actually think about what you want to say. Like everything, we have to evolve. Keeping in touch with people isn’t that hard it depends how much you let people in. I’ll leave you with this last song by Ksounds Where you at click on the link below and enjoy

Where you at?


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