45 thoughts on “Lamenting the lost art of conversation

  1. Yup. Let me tell you that as a teacher it’s been hard to watch the demise of classroom conversations between classes. Gone are the days when I walked into a class and the students would be laughing, talking, utterly engaged with one another. Now when I walk in it’s everyone staring at their phones….

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    • True. I recently bought some beautiful writing paper and a new fountain pen, and am actively writing letters to people because I realised I was in danger of forgetting how to. And it is lovely to receive a handwritten letter.

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  2. Preaching to the choir, Su. I’ve lamented this for many years now and had the same experience where I’m having tea or lunch with a friend who has a phone on the table and is constantly looking at it. I understand if it’s for business that you might have to take a call or answer a text, but there are sounds to let you know you’re “needed”. The rest of the time, spend with me. After all, isn’t that why we’re having coffee or lunch?

    janet

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  3. UGH! Makes me so angry and sad… 🙁 You see it everywhere and I’m really so happy there weren’t any mobile phones around when I grew up. And it’s not just the kids but their parents too – how often do I watch young parents looking at their phones while pushing the baby trolley? Or ignoring the dog at their feet looking so sad at their owners but they don’t even notice it. What a sad world this has become…

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    • I agree. Seeing parents ignore their children in favour of their phone is one of the things I get most angry and upset about. I remember a few years ago on a train watching four groups of mothers and children in the carriage with me. Three totally ignored the kids — who subsequently whined and acted out, while one young woman talked all the time to her little boy, pointing things out and playing games with him. He was so lively and engaged and happy. And of course, other adults were drawn to him because of it and I could see how small things create forks in the road of a child’s development. That one little boy was already confident in his mother’s love, fully engaged in learning, and also learning how to interact with other people. Those other children were being left behind. If that pattern is repeated again and again, the consequences are terrifying.

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      • I totally agree – the consequences of this sort of negligence are terrible. I observe the differences between students whose parents choose to interact and engage with their children and those with parents who don’t: the first group of kids is much more self-confident and willing to learn new things whereas the latter is challenged by the easiest tasks. 😯

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  4. I guess that’s true. I guess I find it strange because I have to make arrangements to actually see people, so I feel I want to be present in that moment, not somewhere else.

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