Communication vs. Conversation

If I were to define communication, it would be the conveying of information or ideas from one person to another.  Conversation on the other hand is more of a dance, a give and take between two people, adding emotion into the mix.  It is also usually done using our voices, but technology seems to be redefining that.

Technology has given us new ways to communicate.  We can instantly respond to  somebody anywhere in the world, from the privacy of your home, mobile phone or computer.  What has changed dramatically is that we don’t speak face to face and in person as often.  Texting and emailing has given us the option to censor ourselves and proofread what we say.  Social media has added the ability to take our thoughts and ideas public, archiving it permanently.

It has also taught us terrible manners. I observed people at a restaurant the other day.  Sure, people were sitting together at a table, but their conversations were constantly interrupted and their attentions were elsewhere.  They tended to stop whatever they are doing to answer a text message.  Some weren’t even talking with each other, their eyes glued on their phones and tablets, thumbs and fingers moving with the skill of a piano virtuoso.

It made me sad.  Intimate conversations aren’t the same as they used to be.  Too many interruptions and distractions, as if the messages coming from elsewhere were more important than the moment being experienced.  I could understand if there were a true emergency or something, but it seems as if it is the “new normal” to multitask constantly.

Conversational skills are being lost to technology because we have less and less personal interaction.  When we text others while conversing with friends or family in person, it shows the people we are with that they are not as important to us as what or who is on our phone.

So here is my talk tip for today.

Show the people you are with that they are important to you.  If you are holding an in person conversation, save your texting till later.

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