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Conversation: the informal exchange of ideas by spoken words

“I believe you once said put the social back in social. It can’t be all advertising. Same goes with conversing.” @NoAppLikeIt send me this tweet today. The last sentence was the kicker. Same goes with conversing.

I’m a thinker, and this tweet made the wheels spin at a “big hamster on a tiny wheel” pace. Can you have a conversation? Truly. A good conversation, without referencing Facebook,Twitter, or Youtube, based on facts gathered through verbal communication or life experience rather than Google or a Huffington Post article? Can you attend an event without thinking about posting it on Instagram? How has your communication style changed since, say, 1994? (As I wrote that I realized that many of you probably had NO communication style in 1994. Let’s pretend.)

Think about your dinner conversation with your family. How often do you talk about people you’ve never actually met? How often is the phrase “this guy on Snapchat” used in your vernacular? How many photos are taken to share, rather than to capture the moment? Seriously. Pay attention to what your conversation sounds like. Have you lost the ability to be social, because of social?

Our kids speak in memes. If you say “Damn Daniel” they’ll say “check out those white vans.” Ever hear your kid say “dat boi“? How many times has your kid “dabbed” when they sneezed? Or to say thank you. Or because its Thursday. What about “Linda. Linda honey.”

Oh, wait. That’s not the kids. That’s us. The grown ups. Repeating something funny we saw on the internet. Ever meet someone who doesn’t know what you’re talking about? The first thing you do is pull your phone out to show them. There’s a time and place, of course, for joking about the funny thing on Instagram, or talking about John Oliver’s latest on Donald Trump. I do believe our lives have been enhanced by the ability to spread ideas far and fast, and appreciate the entertainment, information, and connections I’ve made. But.

My favourite phrase to hear at the dinner table is “I was talking to…” followed by the sharing of an idea, leading to a discussion. Especially with my kids.

Social media has given us a megaphone to share, and boy do we! Let’s remember, those same ideas we spread through a tweet, or a facebook post, or an Instagram video should be shared around a table. In person. Socially – old school style.