Technological advances can bring about some strange occurrences, including some that would seem to have no basis in logic. In the case of computers and smartphones, it has never been easier (or cheaper) to communicate with anyone anywhere in the world, but the amount of meaningful conversation people engage in seems to have dropped in recent years.
Something to definitely decline has been our attention span. There is so much fighting for our attention, from the internet to email to our phones, people seem to live in bubbles. Yes, we talk to co-workers, servers in restaurants, people helping us in stores, and members of our immediate family, but when was the last time you had a prolonged, intimate conversation with someone where secrets were shared and truths realized?
One of the goals of technology is to make life easier and yet, with all of these innovations, we seem to have less spare time than ever because there are so many things demanding our attention. Many of us spend entire workdays staring at screens and then spend most of our spare time doing the same thing. Conversation has been reduced to a bizarre form of shorthand in many instances, like instant messaging with its abbreviated spellings and emojis. It is not only that we don’t seem to have time anymore for a meaningful conversation, it’s almost like many of us no longer even remember how to do it.
So, how do we change this? First of all, set limits on your device use. Make plans to do things with other people who are observing the same “no phone use” rule and keep them. Think about all of the good things that come from such interactions and build upon them, increasing your social network. Then turn other people on to the same lifestyle change.