16 December 2010

The New Age: Post-Conversationalism

My wife and I have decided that we, she and I and all of us denizens of the Internets, are now living in a Brand New Age... the age of post-conversationalism... a heretofore uncoined term we're pleased to introduce into the modern lexicon right now (Google it).

It's not groundbreaking, nor is it even the least bit shocking, to point out that we live in a time when it's often more convenient to send a text message than it is to make a call... when it's simpler to Google the right answer than it is to try and suss it out with dialog, discourse, and maybe even disagreement... when an email, a Tweet, or a Facebook update will suffice for a greeting, a well-wish, or, heck, almost anything.

There are probably lots of other examples of what we're talking about.  Like blogging?  Maybe.

What seems to have gone unrecognized to this point is that, just as postmodernism tends to grey-up what Truth is (or might be), post-conversationalism does likewise with what might qualify as quality discourse and dialog.

Most of us would probably consider all of the aforementioned forms of communication to be types of conversation.  But really, they're not the same.  Don't think so?  Ask yourself, next time you're sitting around having a cuppa and a conversation with a friend or a lover or a child: Is this anything like an email, or a status update?  You're sure to come to the same conclusion we have:  It's not.  It's nothing like those things.  Face-to-face conversation's different.  Whatever it is we're doing here on the 'Net, it's not the same.

To be sure: real, live conversation isn't completely dead.  We've still gotta talk occasionally.  But, it's not exactly thriving anymore either, is it?  Like letter-writing, handwriting, and postage stamps, talk's ever becoming more and more archaic and quaint.

We're not here to make recommendations, or to get all-preachy or nostalgic.  Nor are we going to try and somehow deconstruct this new age, this new post-conversationalism in which we live.  We only hope to recognize its presence... and perhaps coin a new term... while pointing out the obvious... which is, in fact, the epiphany we ourselves had just a couple of nights ago:

It's been too long since we talked.


Anonymous said...

But some don't really like to interact face-to-face with people. This new age is a golden era for the misanthropes and shrinking violets among us. I am sure the same was said of writing and the telephone in their respective days.

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