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Have We Lost the Art of Conversation Because of Electronics?

people texting
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Teen dating has changed so much over the years and I’m learning it first hand these days with a 13 year old who is finally seeing girls as something other than “gross”. The more I talk to my friends I realize the things he’s doing are “normal” these days. I remember the first time I thought a guy was cute was in the 4th grade. We sent notes or friends to ask if that particular person thought the same of us.

Here is what I have noticed. They don’t actually talk on the phone, they text. Constantly! Yes, I know parental control comes in and we do put a stop to it at certain points, like at the dinner table. However, I’ve asked around and this seems to be what teens do these days.

When I was growing up there was no such thing as a cell phone and your parents would only allow you to talk on the phone for maybe an hour at a time. The point is we talked, had conversation, trivial as it might have been we learned to socialize. The kids these days use their phones and Facebook to socialize.

I’ve also recently noticed that when we go out to eat couples will come in, sit down at the same table and never speak to one another, they are on their phones texting the whole time. Perhaps one of them talks on the phone the whole time while ordering, eating and ignoring the person they are actually sitting at the table with.

Divorce rates are higher than they have ever been before, is this in part due to lack of communication/conversation? Do we just not talk anymore because we are too busy watching TV, working on the computer (as I am now), texting, playing video games, surfing the web or using any number of electronic devices we might have handy.

This was all brought up this passed weekend when a friends dad, probably in his 70’s, saw the kids sitting around texting and not engaging in conversation. He said, “hey you guys need to stop, I have things to say and you could learn a lot”. He was right. He was in the military, is an ordained minister, worked for the postal service and had lots to tell. We, the adults, sat on the porch and talked until 1:30 in the morning.

I guess my question is this; is technology replacing the art of conversation? Are our kids going to be in trouble because they can’t hold a conversation for more than 5 minutes and they edit everything to no more than 3 letters? LOL

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