I was in the grocery store and noticed long lines in the self-checkouts, while two cashier lanes were empty.
I took my groceries to one of the cashiers, a woman in her twenties, and asked her why she thought this was happening. After looking at the people in the self-checkout, she replied “They are young and don’t like talking face-to- face with strangers”. I laughed and thought to myself, what if we all forgot how to have a normal conversation?
Technology is important and we are more connected to the world than we have ever been. But while we remain connected digitally, we are less connected to the people in our everyday life. We’re having fewer conversations each day.
Why do I think this is a problem? We all need someone to talk to and it’s easy to become isolated, especially as a Security Guard stationed alone. A good conversation is live, with immediate comments and responses, which lead to real feelings. Real feelings connect us to reality, which stimulate our intuition and awareness. If we become conditioned to technology, we become one-dimensional. We become less deep as individuals and more shallow, predictable, anxious and irritable. By not having conversations, we are forgetting how to feel.
Some of us avoid conversations altogether because it requires too much attention, I know I do. We’re accustomed to being distracted and we forget to focus which leads to difficulties listening to others. We may not have time because we’re too busy at work, school or at home.
Social media thrive in these elements. Our digital devices give us a false sense of ego and by having fewer face-to-face conversations, we’re losing the source that validates our identity: our relationships with others. A conversation is an engagement with others that requires you to be present and mindful. The next time you are about to tap or send a text, change your mind and give that person a call.