Today: Jul 17, 2024

The end of meaningful conversation

Josh Falcone – General Assignment Reporter

Many times when conversing with someone, I get the feeling that we as a society are becoming dumber and more isolated by the day.

The responses we give each other often times are only one or two words. For example, last week I asked a good friend, who was going to see the film “Lincoln,” what he thought of the movie.

His response, “Good.”

That is all he said, good. Not even, “It was good,” just “good.” I looked at him, squinted and shook my head in disbelief. I then attempted to get him to expand on why he thought the movie was good.

“I don’t know, just was good,” he said.

Photo Courtesy | Nowadays, people seem to update their status more than they have face-to-face conversations.
Photo Courtesy |
Nowadays, people seem to update their status more than they have face-to-face conversations.

After that rich response, I gave up. Maybe I was expecting too much from him to tell me why he thought it was good. Maybe he found Daniel Day Lewis’s portrayal of Abraham Lincoln’s struggle during the closing of the Civil War to be enthralling. Or maybe he thought it was good because he has always had an affinity for costume dramas. I would have even been happy if he said he thought it was good because Lincoln had a pretty sick beard; but no, all he could muster was six words.

Right now perhaps you’re thinking, well Josh, maybe your friend is just an idiot. You may be right, the jury’s still out on that, but this isn’t an isolated incident. A couple months ago, I happened to be talking to a Southern Owls coach and asked him how the team he leads finds repeated success. He sputtered for a few seconds then said that the team finds success; I think his exact response was, “We find success.” Compelling, right?

Or how about the girl, who insisted on being interviewed for a story on the election. When asked a question about how she felt about the election results, she said “Um, um, I don’t know.”

I blame this “dumbing-down” on technology and social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. Take a day and look around at the people you spend time with. How many have their faces buried into their phone, checking what someone they knew in middle school had for lunch and liking it, ignoring actual human interaction? And if you attempt to talk to these people, you might get one word from them—two if you’re lucky. Or how about the people who will text someone who is in the next room, 20 feet away? We as a society would rather communicate through technology than face-to-face interaction. I for one cannot stand it.

What pisses me off more than anything is when I get the response, “K.”

Do people think that it’s appropriate when I’m talking to them and they ask me a question, I answer and their reply is, “K?” You’re telling me that you’re too lazy to say the word okay? It is bad enough when people text me “K” as a response, but at least I can pretend that maybe it is because they’re inconvenienced at the moment. If we’re conversing face to face and all you can muster up is the single sound of a letter of the alphabet, you are a lazy moron.

So I say as a community, we take our faces out of our phones and start talking to others around us. Also, let’s think before we respond to a question. I’d rather wait a minute for deep conversation than get a rapid one word response or grunt like some sort of caveman. Use your words.

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