Conversation: An Endangered Way of Communicating
Are we becoming hermits in modern technology?
Have we lost the ability to converse to another human being? Currently, no one seems to want to pick up the phone just to chat, or take the time to write an real letter with complete sentences. Email, text and iPod have taken over and replaced conversations within business and families. Responses have become more like short answers written in code instead of allowing personalities to enter into discussions or decisions.
Business correspondence and answers are becoming increasingly shorter, and a large portion of business is done through email or video-link. Response time takes precedence over communication or discussion. People seem to be more concerned with difficulty in responding to a text message while operating their vehicles, than actual conversing with another person.
Real conversation and interaction involves exchanging ideas and thoughts face-to-face, viewing body language, and eye contact. Electronic mail, faxes, and text messages do not provide opportunities to hear another's voice, see their smile, or shake their hand. Corresponding entirely through email, text, or fax promotes a faceless sterile environment.
Many times, mistakes or omissions can be made in key ideas because interaction between parties to re-evaluate or re-examine the final product was lacking. It seems, the world of today, thrives and operates on speed, abbreviated response, and minimal human contact.
If we lose the art of conversation, we risk becoming inflexible and stereotyped in our way of thinking. Disconnecting from speaking with others can lead us to believe our way or opinion is the only one that counts. When there are no challenges, we agree with ourselves and can become a bit self-righteous.
But, some matters cannot be handled or resolved through electronic correspondence. Things like life-threatening issues, homeland security or natural disasters. Politicians, doctors, and individual people must possess the tools necessary participate and interact with others in such discussions. If we lose the ability to converse intelligently, or thoroughly explain our position, problem solving and rectifying solutions may be hindered or cease to exist.
However, there seems to be an increased interest in reading groups and community discussions indicates that people really want to rediscover the techniques of conversation. And, perhaps, the very same technology that created quick, abbreviated, word exchanges will bring viable solutions to increasing characteristics of impersonal conversations. As videophones become more popular and commonplace, people might be forced to relearn conversation etiquette and techniques.