Whatever Happened to the Art of Conversation?

There’s an Internet/Phone/Cable company commercial where the woman says something like, Now, my daughter can talk on the phone as long as she wants.  This always elicits a response from Tenderheart that sounds something like, Who is she talking to?  Who talks on the phone?

Do you know how many hours I used to spend on the phone?  The phone was in the kitchen and looked like this:
wall-rotary-phone-isolated-old-fashioned-beige-33116366
Only with a longer cord that I could take down the hall and just barely sit in my room. Or take it around the refrigerator into the laundry room and sit in a basket while I was on the phone for hours. This was all pre-call waiting and someone else calling would actually get a busy signal.  But in the age of texting and social media, I have no idea what we even talked about.  What’d you do today?  Nothing.  What’d you do today?  Nothin’.  I’m sure it was riveting.

Recently, I was standing in an elevator with a bunch of old guys who were all staring at their phones and I said, Whatever happened to the art of conversation?  They all laughed and looked up and we chatted a bit on the rest of the ride, but really?  What happened to the art of conversation?  I can count on one hand how many phone conversations I have a week that aren’t work related.  I don’t even answer my home phone because the majority of those callers are bill collectors or solicitors, and I don’t want to speak to any of those people.

And the majority of my phone calls are in the car on the way to something or waiting for someone.  Filler.  I’m not alone, right?  When do you make your phone calls? Do you text or talk more?

This is ultimately the problem, I’m afraid we’re raising a group of people who have no capacity for face to face or telephonic communication.  We’re raising a bunch of texters, Facebookers, Tumblrs.  Sunshine gets anxiety when I make her call someone. Even Moonshine texts more than talking on the phone.  Hopefully it’s all teens and not just mine.  But I prefer a phone call.  It’s clear, it’s concise, you can tell my tone.  Texting has no tone.  It’s hard to convey my sarcasm over a text, and you can be sure it’s dripping with it.

Look, I'm on the phone again.

Look, I’m on the phone again.

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