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2002-03-12 00:30:37 (UTC)

WANTED: One Decent Conversation

When is the last time you actually had a REAL conversation
with someone? Was it so long ago that you can't even
remember? If so, I honestly wouldn't be that surprised. The
art of conversation, it seems, truly is lost as of late.

Nowadays (don't I sound like I'm 80 years old with that
one), good conversational skills have fallen into
the "Bermuda Triangle" of social ineptness. It's true.
There are four main problems that need to be adressed for
this one:
1.) People have become anti-social due to technology- they
just don't talk to one another!
2.) Seeming lack of things to discuss
3.) Inability to actually hold and participate in
conversation- a skill.. lost?
4.) Sheer lack of vocabulary- where the hell did it all go?

Hah, I can almost see some readers' eyes light up with glee
as they think, 'But wait Amanda! As I'm reading this highly
enertaining journal of yours, I'm having a conversation
with my friend Paul.. who lives down the hall from me.' But
I ask you, are you talking to him in person? I would almost
guarantee that your answer is no. And if it happens to be
yes- how the hell are you having a conversation and reading
this at the same time? Go! Go! BE SOCIAL for gods sakes!

For those of you who immediately jumped the gun on that
one, let me clarify what I mean by conversation. I'm not
talking about sitting at your computer and typing :) and
LOL over an IM. I am talking about a sit down, face to
face, mano-a-mano (obscure reference and probable incorrect
spelling), conversation. Hell, throw some coffee into the
mix if you're really in need of some inspiration! But the
fact is, no matter the formula, people just don't have
decent conversations with each other anymore. Rather, they
are content with being shut up in their rooms, eating Oreos
and lazing around in their leopard-print boxers chatting
some girl up that lives just down the hall. My solution-
put some pants on, bag the oreos, and go out and socialize!

Yes yes yes, perhaps I'm making this whole process sound
too easy. But really, it is. Actually talking to others
*gasp!* is not really that frightening. It actually *gasp!*
is something that has been done many many times before.
Thus, you will not be the first one to do it. Trust me.
After you forgoe the challenge of putting on some pants and
getting the hell out of your room and away from Star Trek
re-runs, you're in business. Sorry to say that the next
thing is the hardest step of all: finding something to talk

Now granted, being interesting is something that not
everyone can be. However, everyone has something they can
talk about aside from how horrible the food in the caf is
and how much they hate their English professor. But
honestly, even if you're not interesting, you can always
talk about something that is! And if you're one of those
people that say that there's nothing interesting for you to
talk about, you really don't get out much. And that's
something coming from me- a med student that spends 4-6
hours a day studying. Hmm....yet I am interesting and
intelligent enough to find things to discuss- well doesn't
that just beat all!

But... let's just say that you've got the first two
elements, for argument's sake. You've got pants, and you've
got the perfect subject. Now you actually have to CONVERSE
with another person... or better yet, a group of people!
What to do, what to do? Well, it's probably best if you
don't take the contemporary approach to things: spitting
out what you want to say and then tuning out what the other
person says. No. This is not a conversation... this is you
blabbing to another person about whatever it is that you
wanted, and then reverting back into that self-absorbed
head of yours to think about your top priority... which no
doubt is something earth-shattering... like what topppings
you want on that sub tonight.

My preferred method of conversing (and most successful
conversationalists) is to have an actual back and forth
conversation. I say something, you say something in
response, I say something, you say something, I respond,
and so on. Far be it for me to say that that's the only
right way- but it's a simple a "beginner's model" for
conversation.... for those of you who thought a good back
and forth convo was "Yo." "Yo." "Sup?" "Nuttin."- you are
missing my point. (Did I mention that using more than one
word utterances is a key to decent conversation?... unless
you are a toddler of course.... an actual toddler, not
someone with the mental capacity of one, mind you).

My point is that it is imperative to have at least semi-
decent conversational skills. I'm not being some sort of
nose-up, high backed, social-conversational elitist here.
But it is a fact that if you can't even express yourself
without saying the word "Yo" or something equally limited,
you really need to take a look at where your life is
headed. Get some vocabulary. Get some experience. Go do
something other than playing a LARP! Quit surfing the net
and go talk to someone! Anyone! Because unless you want to
haul your computer around for the rest of your life and
talk through it, you're going to need to practice. Most
people REALLY need to practice. A lot. Because unless
you're Stephen Hawking, people are going to give a strange
glance to a guy rolling around a talking computer.

But then again, it's not like you'd talk to them anyway.