We're letting our fingers do the talking far too much these days.
We're letting our fingers do the talking far too much these days. kjekol

Are we losing the art of conversation?

HIGH-level communication is part of what makes us all human and sets us apart from other species. But I have grave fears for the art of conversation in the future.

We already let our fingers do the talking more than we should. We type emails to people sitting across the desk from us. We share a post, type a comment or give thumbs up/laugh/cry/show surprise/get angry on Facebook instead of popping around for a cuppa or calling friends to hear their voices.

We text short, abrupt messages that can be ambiguous or misunderstood.

I realise we're all time-poor, and I appreciate that social media has its place in opening the lines of communications and extending messages to greater numbers. But it's not the meaningful, "in the moment” communication that face-to-face conversations or even phone calls can deliver.

I've always been a talker. I can't stand long silences in a room full of people (even if we are all flat-out working, we need a break) or to pass someone in the street without giving a polite greeting. It's not just making "small talk”.

It's conversing with a fellow human being and acknowledging their presence.

You can't see the wry smile or wink in an email when trying to convey sarcasm. You can't hear the emphasis on one word over another that might change the whole meaning in a text. You can't truly convey your empathy for a friend's Facebook post - no matter how many emojis you add at the end.

After nearly 40 years as a two-finger typist through my uni degree and career, I don't need any more finger-speak.

But I would like more coffee chats with girlfriends, deep-and-meaningfuls around the dinner table and what's-happening-in-your-life conversations with my sons.

Without speaking to each other, we may as well go back to caveman drawings and the occasional grunt.

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