Inspired by someone who’s words I ‘met’, and thought this the perfect place to share.
Lynn Petrak, a freelance columnist, wrote an article published recently in the Pioneer Press.
Titled, “Are hand held devices crushing conversation”, Ms Petrak likened the cause and effect to the quote of my day, ‘video killed the radio star’.
She comments on the observations that while she, a master of small talk and finding common threads with strangers through conversation, knowing her Starbucks baristas, and even some of their children’s names,interests and favorite vacation spots, found herself aware of her own rudeness one day, being addressed several times by a service provider, because she was looking into her phone, UNaware of what was happening around her.
The following excerpts really resonated with me:
“Whether its during a haircut, at a service counter, in a restaurant, during a job interview, on public transportation, or in many other encounters, there’s something about engaging in small talk that elevates not just the discussion, the human experience.” “….connections made through random conversations”.
I, the daughter of a master shmoozer, a gregarious, outgoing parent who can and does talk to absolutely everyone he meets, understand that this can be a daunting and uncomfortable behavior, and one that does not feel natural for everyone.
To that end, I add one more excerpt from Petrak and John Duffy, clinical psychologist:
“Mobile devices aren’t going anywhere, so how can we curb the demise of small talk?
….We made promises where we would pick days to keep our eyes up and say ‘hi’ to a stranger, and see what happens. I never regret doing it, and it always feels good and you make others feel good. Its nice to be considered.
Eyes up. Seize the moment, even if that moment starts with a lament about the rain.”
Be ready. Imagine then, who we might meet, and who we might become.