My friend, Nick Kraz shared with me in an article he wrote this:
Shelly Turkle, a professor at MIT studying communication, encountered this haunting statement from a young person who texts religiously: “Someday, someday, but certainly not now, I’d like to learn how to have a conversation.”
I mentor young teens and me, unfortunately, I see this a lot. On my way to a meeting on the high school campus, they were sitting on the ground, in groups, looking at their phones. No one was talking. When I do get them together to go out for pizza or whatever, when they talk it is all about badmouthing others- friends, teachers, parents, etc. or what movies, videos, etc. they have seen. None of this amounts to any meaningful conversations and many of them exhibit extreme loneliness.
Someone told me that when he was in college, it was common that students would sit in a circle and smoke (cigarettes and other things) and talk and listen to music and talk to one another. He felt that he made good bonds with other students that exist as he journeyed into adulthood.
Even now when I attend cocktail parties and fundraisers, it is shocking how many people interrupt each other when they talk. There is no active listening going on. There is no paraphrasing to make sure you understood what was being discussed. There were no silent pauses to reflect.
As a society, we must return to good meaningful and respectful conversations for a civil society to exist. As the world population explodes, to care and understand for each other, good communication has to happen. This book is an easy read that is very enlightening and will get you started on practicing the Lost Art of Good Conversation. Enjoy!