The Lost Art of Conversation

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When is the last time you had an honest to goodness conversation with someone? When was the last time you met someone new? ………I’ll give you a minute to think………Has it been a while? I feel like people have forgotten how to actually have a conversation.

I’ve been noticing how everyone seems to be hooked up to technology all the time!  I have seen couples out at dinner and they are both scrolling through their facebook feed instead of talking to each other (ok I’ve actually done this lately. Sorry honey) I’ve seen kids crossing the street staring at their phone or ipod instead of looking for cars.

This post proves that I am officially getting old! “That gal darned technology!” Said in my best grandmotherly voice, standing hunched over and shaking my fist in the air!

When my grandfather was alive I saw the master of conversation at work. He could walk up to anyone and get them started talking very easily. He asked questions, showed interest, smiled,  listened and then somehow found a way to encourage the person. There are not many people like him but I want to be one of the few.

I know sitting next to someone on an airplane is usually not a good time to start a conversation. Many people just want to be left alone. This morning as I was flying back from Georgia I sat between two perfectly nice people – both were using computers and had ipods plugged into their ears (the international “do not bother me” symbol) and intermittently also used their cell phones or ipads. I’ve never seen the use of so much technology all at one time! I felt so out of the loop – so disconnected technologically and socially.

I wanted to ask each of them if they were flying home? Or where they had been visiting. I didn’t want to engage them in 5 hours worth of boredom but a little chit chat would have been nice. Don’t people talk anymore?

Finally about 4 hours into our flight I saw my chance. I had to ask the woman to my left to excuse me so I could use the bathroom, when I came back I jumped in before she could replug herself back in. I asked her if she was flying home? Success! We had a nice little conversation for just a few minutes – you know the drill: job? kids? Where do you live? How long will you be visiting? It was nice.

I don’t know if she felt put upon or irritated but she was polite. Then I realized afterwards that she didn’t ask me anything….I only asked questions and she answered.  I guess I was just bothering her.  I’m just some weirdo on a plane. I like to talk to people. I like to find out what their life is like. I like to be friendly and have a conversation.

Are there others out there like me? If anyone is interested in having a conversation, you know where to find me!

 

 

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