The Art Of Conversation
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Politics and Activism

The Art Of Conversation

The battle between conversation and connection in a digital world.

The Art Of Conversation

There is an art to conversation. A great conversationalist relies not only on verbal cues, but a multitude of subdued actions and reactions which a person uses to express their message. In the digital world however, many of these accompanying elements are absent. Take Snapchat for example. People can have a conversation with the slight furrow of a brow or purse of the lips, totally devoid of the verbal element of discourse. However, if you consider any messaging app, the foundation is prose, with no accompanying body language or intonation. In today's evolved world, technology has infiltrated nearly every environment and situation. As a result, digital communication is approaching a total eclipse of firsthand conversation. People are increasingly attached to their mobile phones, often more engaged in the digital world than the one in front of them.

Older generations have had to adapt to a digital world, whereas younger generations were raised in it. All conversation, regardless of the medium, is not a talent, but a well-practiced skill. Arguably, the best direct conversationalists have dedicated their time to communication in person. They are adept at interpreting the shifts in tone, and the expression within a person's eyes, knowing when delve further into a topic, and when to move on. It is these elements of conversation which are lost on younger generations, as they are increasingly connected to a multitude of people, while still being disconnected by their mediocre ability to converse.

The internet has enabled people to be connected on a global scale, linking billions of devices worldwide. In January, We Are Social released the new Digital, Social and Mobile in 2015 report, detailing the current extent of digital connection worldwide:

Currently, almost 42 percent of the world's population has access to the internet, eclipsing the previous year's figure of 35 percent. So as the current world population is over 7.3 billion, there are over 3 billion internet users worldwide today. This level of connection is the most connected the world has ever been. And this connection is only growing each year.

It is important to remember that technology is evolving rapidly, but humanity is not. The transition from conversation to connectivity, is evident in the shift from face-to-face discourse to messaging and Snapchat. People are skilled at adapting to new situations, but to the core, we are social creatures which crave personal interaction. Digital connection shouldn't be a substitute for verbal discourse, else we will find future generations can no longer grasp the art that is conversation.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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