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Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016

OMG! We're losing the art of conversation

Saturday, June 2, 2012

It's just a sign of the times, I assume. I find it ironic and somewhat concerning that the United States Forestry Service is running public service announcements asking people to quit tweeting and texting and whatever else you can do with our new emerging technology and instead get out in the real world.

By way of a disclaimer, I neither tweet nor text. Granted, I am in the minority, I suspect, but I am simply missing the point of this new form of communication.

I can easily see the fascination with these new advances in communication. But I can also see the lack of personal contact, the eyeball-to-eyeball dialogues that help to form the human experience.

I can't tell you how many times I have been engaged in a conversation with someone, as they constantly keep a watchful eye on their latest text message. And there is a stark distinction between communication and conversation.

Spend 15 minutes with a teenager and you'll see exactly what I mean.

But this obsession/fascination is by no means limited to the younger set. And I fear in a way that a true conversation is rapidly becoming a dinosaur.

I do fully appreciate the values - in case of emergencies - that this new technology offers. Hands down, in cases of emergency, I want the best available line of communication.

But that's not the issue.

Schools battle the "text issue" on a regular basis. And now the U.S. Forest Service is "forced" to spend resources to tell us that there is a real world out there beyond the make-believe devices that have become so commonplace.

But the reality is that once we've entered this new age of communication, there is no way to go back. When my precious very young granddaughters can easily navigate this new communication minefield with ease, I reluctantly accept the fact that I am a dying breed and this is one battle I will never win.

I recently visited a local internet provider with a minor problem. As I waited somewhat patiently, I listen carefully as the technicians spoke with other customers on a variety of issues. I might have well been in a foreign country. Not only did I not fully understand what they were saying, I did not recognize the language in which they spoke!

So the next time perchance you want to speak with me, just call. I will answer, you will speak, I will speak, etc.

It's called conversation. And it is rapidly fading into ancient history.

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Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen