Restoring the Art of Conversation

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Restoring the Art of Conversation

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You see it everywhere you go. People are always on it. They always have it with them. In fact, if it’s not within a two foot radius of their body, they sometimes freak out. If you haven’t guessed it already, what I’m talking about is a cell phone.

These small little bricks of glass, plastic, and metal have come to a point where they rule our lives. They are the first things we look at when we wake up, and the last thing we look at when we go to bed. We are on them for hours out of the day, often missing out on huge parts of our lives because we’re too busy reading a tweet or playing flappy bird. And I am just as guilty of it as ever. We have become so fixated on our little devices that we miss out on so much, and we have lost skills that should be second nature for us. Like the skill of being able to hold a conversation.

Most of the time, we like to hide behind our 10 digit phone number, texting, tweeting, whatever it may be. We have become so used to this form of communication that we have forgotten about a different one. Conversations. In person. With meaningful dialogue. You see, we like texting so much because it gives us a chance to think about what to say, and respond after careful thought. You could sit there thinking about what to say for hours if need be.

Another reason texting is our favorite form of communication is because we can pretend to be things that we are not. We can hide behind our phone number, instead of being genuine with people. Texting is the gateway into a world of “perfect conversations,” where you always have the right thing to say. But that’s not realistic, is it? In normal conversations, you don’t have 10 minutes to think about the right thing to say. You just have to say it. Texting changes the way your mind works.

You’ll notice that people who spend a lot of time texting people don’t do well in actual conversations. They tend to be awkward and shy, because they don’t know what to say. They aren’t used to this art of personal communication.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that texting is always a bad thing. It can be great when used the right way. But when it turns into your only form of communication, that’s where you get into trouble. So I want to challenge to to stray away from texting. Try having normal conversations with people. In person. Or even on the phone. It’s amazing how much more you can learn about a person when you actually watch how they communicate, instead of just reading their words from a bright LED screen. As high school students, let’s change the game, and bring back the art of conversation.

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