Talking is overrated, or so I thought. The thing is that when extreme tiredness hits I discover that I’m unable to converse and so keep mute. Maybe this is one of the preservation techniques my body has devised in order to ensure that essential bodily functions are carried out. Extreme thoughts, I hear you say but the human physiology is a sophisticated machine with its quirks.
On the other hand there are those that just cannot stop… quintessential chatterboxes. People like these remember having been punished in primary school. They also frequently made the notorious list of ‘noise makers’ at the next stage, so we’re quite familiar with what talking entails.
Some people are wont to do it for the sheer pleasure; others love the sound of their voice and even when spouting nonsense can drone on. When in a conversation with this type, no contributions are required on your part, the occasional nod suffices. We have some individuals that only are people of few words, the barest minimal. A few sentences (in one breath) constitute a deluge!
On the other hand, there are those that engage in meaningful discourse; they listen, wait and actually have a dialogue. Those that attend workshops, seminars and the like consider it serious business and have clear intent for participating.
Nowadays mobile telephony has all but swamped us with devices. It’s a common sight to see people clustered together but not involved with chitchat. The thumbs, fingers (sometimes nails too) and small screens are doing the talking. You’ll no longer find people as engrossed in discussions. Couples, singles, groups, friends, no matter the category we are guilty. People tune out if present company palls and log into virtual space.
Before the advent of this technology, you simply took refuge in memories or surrounding distractions; eventually finding (or making) an excuse to escape. This is no longer the case, we simply bring out (some hold it all the time) and check for the latest mail or the incessant messenger. Funny enough this habit has become ‘acceptable’ and one generally overlooked.
Why take the trouble to invite friends out if you end up glued to the screen the entire period? It simply does not make sense. You can stay home and twiddle your thumbs on the buttons all day. I think it’s a cop out, a lazy way to conduct relationships.
It’s easier to be superficial and unaffected with this wedge.
There will be protests that this is not the case, that the voice is still active and strong. May be so, but how long do people talk without taking off a few minutes to check for the latest update, message or mail that constantly streams unto their handhelds? To have a meaningful conversation now requires more discipline than some of us can muster.
We must ensure that the human voice is not eventually wiped out. The voice must not become archived and used sporadically. It would not do for us to lose the ability of speech. We should work on learning (once again) to use our utterances to conduct and enhance relations in the twenty-first century.