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Have We Forgotten How to Have a Conversation?

With the rise of social media and texting, we may have forgotten how to have a conversation. So many of us (I included) post our lives and thoughts on sites like Facebook, Instagram, Blogs, that we no longer have to call someone or see a friend in person to find out what’s going on. So many times friends have mentioned a post about me on Facebook and the questions don’t go any deeper. We assume we know what’s going on in each other’s lives because we saw some pictures or comments, but those posts are so shallow. We are different people online than who we are with ourselves and our close friends and family, and we are different in social media than how we type into Google. Teenagers and children know how to respond to texts and comments with emoji’s and smiley faces, yet many times I don’t see the same smile and enthusiasm in person.

I know I have been in dark places in my own head and that’s not something I post on social media. Yet those questions or phone calls don’t come as often as they used to. My husband and I talk all the time and we have intimate conversations with each other, but my phone does not ring as often as it used to. I used to spend hours talking on the phone to friends and now I feel like it has been reduced to catching up with people by seeing what’s on social media. Sometimes I don’t find out about divorces, moves, the sex of a new baby from family members unless it’s posted to Facebook. There’s a lost art of intimate conversation and it has to be addressed.

When we share something on Facebook or Instagram, it is out there for any of our ‘friends’ to see. It’s not intimate anymore. I find myself at many dinners and questions are answered with one word: ‘fine’, ‘good’, ‘busy’, etc. I value a good, deep, and open conversation, but I think we as a society need to go back to the basics on how to have a conversation.

How Do You Really Have a Conversation?

  • Meet with people in person or call someone on the phone
  • Don’t multitask, give the person you are talking to their full attention
  • Ask questions and keep asking.
  • Don’t make it about you, take a true interest in the person in front of you
  • We don’t like everyone we talk to, but we can all show effort in asking questions
  • Start with small questions then work to deeper questions, don’t stop at small talk
  • Ask open ended questions
  • Know when to stop. If the person on the phone or in person is not responding, then it’s apparent they don’t want to have a conversation.
  • Try to engage in a real conversation offline every day, you never know what you may learn.

My Favorite TED Talks

My Favorite TED Talks You Should Check Out

When I was in college, I was talking to a friend one night, and he suggested that I should check out TED talks. This was in 2006, and I immediately became addicted. I would joke that TED was my boyfriend because I went to bed with TED every night… meaning I watched a new TED talk every night before I went to sleep. I thought I’d share my favorite talks with you from over the years. Let me know your favorite TED talk too!

1. David Gallo – Underwater Astonishments

2.Ken Robinson – Do Schools Kill Creativity?

3. Garrett Lisi – The Theory of Everything

4. Dan Pink – The Puzzle of Motivation

5. Rufos Griscom & Alisa Volkman – Parenting Taboos

Going Old School

I love technology. I study the searches you type into Google for a living! Every day we interact with Alexa and Google Home and I love my phone. However, I have to unplug and essentially go old school.

Today, I needed to schedule a hair appointment and my regular guy was booked up, so I walked to the nearest hair salon and wrote down my name and the time I needed on a piece of paper (gasp!)… that’s right, a piece of paper.

Letter Writing

I now carry stationary, letters, envelopes, stamps and addresses with me in my purse and sometimes when I have a free moment, I will sit there and write a letter to someone. My uncle Larry and I were talking a few weeks ago after my cousin died from being hit by a train. That moment made my uncle want to go through old letters and he mentioned to me how no one sends letters anymore and it is a lost art. I told him that my lifelong friend, Katie, has always written me letters. It then hit me… I never write letters. I am terrible at sending thank you’s and many times I will send a text or an e-mail, but now I am being consumed by technology as I work in it for a living and am surrounded by technology all of the time. I realized that it was time to go old school and write letters.

Checking The Time

I bought a watch! A real watch…not a smartwatch. I found myself turning to my phone all throughout the day to check the time because I’m a millennial and millennials don’t wear watches, because we have phones. However, every time that I would check the time on my phone, I would then check my messages, my e-mail, Facebook, you name it and I would lose countless hours over the course of a week or month. So yes, I went old school and bought a watch so I can check the time and it’s one less time I’m checking my phone throughout the day.

What are ways you are going old school?