Early this week I attended a hospital appointment at one of our local hospitals. As usual the clinic I was attending was running late so I ended up sitting in the waiting room, doing what I usual do, observing the other people as they came and went, wondering what they were there for, how long they’d been attending the clinic etc.
At one point about 20 minutes after my allocated appointment time, a girl and boy of probably about 18 or 19, came in together and sat down in the seats at ninety degrees to me. Almost as soon as they sat down, they both got their mobile phones out their pockets and proceeded to use their phone to send/receive messages for at least the next 10 minutes (I got called at that point), never uttering a word to one another, and never stopping to look up at either one another or anyone else in the waiting area.
I’ve thought a lot about these two since my hospital appointment, and keep thinking about so many of those who have grown up with technology and social media a standard fixture in their life, seem to be unable to go without it for more than a few minutes at a time, and seem unwilling or unable to interact with people face to face. To be honest it wouldn’t surprise me if these two were actually messaging each other even though they were sitting next to each other!
Are we slow but surely losing the ability to hold a conversation with one another face to face? Is the availability of social media to everyone slowly killing the art of conversation?
I believe that social media has opened up a whole to world of possibilities to us, however I also believe that for many who have not known a world without social media, they will struggle to hold a “normal” conversation with others face to face, simply because they are not used to talking to a real person!
I hope I’m wrong, as where would we be if we can’t even talk to one another anymore?!