Recently I ate dinner with a group of teens, their average age was about sixteen. It was a semi-formal dinner, table for ten. Outside of my husband, everyone at the table was under 20 years old. You can probably guess what comes next. Half the kids ate dinner with their phones in one hand, forks in the other, mindlessly surfing, scrolling and stuffing food in their mouth. It was quite funny.
The other half of the kids sat in silence with just one exception. These were the kids who were respecting the rules (no phones were allowed) or perhaps they didn’t have a phone, but I doubt that. In whatever case, the no-phone kids were at the table with one or two friends and if they spoke at all, they kept it between themselves.
Now I am not calling this “rude”. I don’t think it’s fair to judge this generation by the rules followed by my generation, but it certainly was different. I wonder if people converse without distraction anymore. You know. Do you look at someone when you talk to them, or do you merely glance up from your screen now and then?
I have been fortunate to have, Ben as a friend for nearly 30 years. We get on the phone and talk intently for two or more hours, with complete focus. I can’t imagine living without this. I can’t imagine sound-bite interaction with others…and that’s it.
If your teenager was at this table, could they converse? Would they? Would you? Where is your Mercury?
pictured – A Conversation, Daniel Ridgway Knight
26 Responses to “The Art Of Conversation”
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