Who said conversation is dead? They were so right.
I know I can be quite old fashioned in my thoughts, and the fact that I am sleeping by 10pm, but the lack of communication we have going on in the world really upsets me. So often I sit in a room which can be full of complete strangers, or I can know every single person and in both scenarios every single person can be sat with their eyes constantly buried into their phones. Don’t get me wrong, I love using my phone, but I think I get the balance right with how much I use it and how much I stop to take in the world. I am perfectly happy sitting on a bench and just staring at everyone walking past, or sitting having a meal talking to every person there. It seems to be something that people in my generation simply struggle to do. The minute you make it known and everyone puts them away, its as if no one knows what to talk about or how to get engaged in conversation. I think it’s a fact of life now in the UK that the art of conversation is actually starting to die out.
The invention of the phone has been the best and worst creation we are responsible for.
I love communication and socialising with my friends, which I think was something I learnt from my grandparents. Every evening we would sit down as a family, eat a meal and talk about our days. My grandma and I would and still do go out for coffee and chat for what is actually a scary amount of time. I love to talk, I love to admire the view in front of me and I really enjoy getting to know new people. I use my phone as a tool, mainly for blogging. Anything I ever do on my phone, 75% of the time it is for the blog. The blog I try to look at as a job, so when I need a break, I simply put it away. I don’t feel the need to be texting people all the time, share every single meal I have eaten and tweet every time something remotely interesting happens in my life. It really saddens me that we are a generation that is so lost without the little device in our hands, and we have forgotten how to actually have a discussion with one another.
I think the first thing to do is make yourself aware of it. Sometimes when I am with someone, particularly when we are having a meal, I often check my phone and get distracted by something. I never used to really notice this, but now I have learnt then if I do check my phone, the notification can always wait for half an hour. Not everything needs to be answered straight away, because let’s be honest, how often is it actually important? If you are aware of how often you are being on your phone, I think the best way to get around it is by setting yourself rules and boundaries. I big thing for me now is that when I am out doing something, I do my best not to even look at my phone.
A big thing in terms of our phones is that I think we often need to think twice about what we are choosing to share. So often I come across things on social media where I literally can’t understand why somebody wants the entire world to have access to it? My motto when it comes to social media and blogging is I always ask myself if it is something that I wouldn’t want my grandma to see? As the blog develops I do feel more comfortable using it as a space to share more personal issues and confiding in my readers, but in terms of imagery and content, it is definitely possible to do so in a very conservative and arty way. This doesn’t just apply to revealing images or content, but I also mean it in terms of irrelevant content. Not everything in your life needs to be shared and not every every meal you eat needs to be put on Snapchat.
A big thing I feel like we have lost as a result of technology is the ability to discuss real world problems and things that are really important in our lives. Often when I talk to young people they so often don’t know about quite major world issues and the sad thing is that they seem to care even less. Whether this be because of the over use of technology or less of a need to actually know these things, I think it is still so important to encourage young people to get involved with these things and form their own opinions. Phones can be used in a very negative way in terms of the problems going on, as often the things that are shared are very one sided, which makes it incredibly hard for a young person to form an opinion that they actually believe in.
So the question is, how do we ever get the art of conversation back? I am determined to never be someone who needs their phone and can’t be bothered with conversation, but that is just me. A scary number of people in the world simply don’t care and unless we make drastic changes it is only ever going to get worse. I think the main thing is that if you are a little bit addicted to your phone, take some time out and really see how wonderful the world is without technology. Go out for a meal and talk to whoever you’re with, enjoy your meal, and appreciate all the little things going on. Believe me, you will live a much more care free life.