Much is made of the way that social media makes it easier to connect with friends and family you don’t see often.
There’s a reason that Facebook’s tagline is the somewhat emotive: ‘…helps you connect and share with the people in your life’.
Proponents of digital communications platforms say that accessibility and human-centred design means that social platforms aren’t just fads, they’re representative of a real change in the way humans communicate. And they point to certain stats, like older Aussies being the fastest growing demographic of social media users, to prove their point.
We are becoming more glued to our devices to the detriment of real life connections.
It’s not hard to miss, say, the pair of high schools girls walking side by side texting furiously, the table of friends ignoring their lattes in favour of their screens or the couple checking out their socials instead of each other.
While we are certainly not advocating forgoing the convenience of technology, being able to initiate and maintain a conversation is an important skill. Conversations are good for the soul and the river of words that flows, pauses and goes off on tangents helps you to develop and express your ideas.
If you’re interested in reclaiming the lost art of conversation, there are some simple steps you can take to have a more meaningful connection with those you care about.
- Limit your use of technology at the dinner table and be ‘present’ with your loved ones.
- Conversations are about listening as much as speaking; ask questions and try not to interrupt the speaker.
- Look into the speaker’s eyes as you talk and take notice of their body language and facial expressions.
Photo by Mervi Emilia