What happened to the art of conversation?

It’s 6a.m. on a Sunday morning and I hear a very soft ping coming from my phone.  Is it my alarm?  No … it’s my email.

you've got email


With smart phones, tablets and laptops – we are now to easily accessible to everyone – friends, family and our employer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s gotten to be excessive and I know that I definitely have a bad case of email exhaustion.

Communicating with friends and colleagues used to involve picking up the phone and having a conversation or meeting up for a quick pow wow in the hall or lunch room.  Now the art of actual person to person conversation seems to be dying quickly. 

Email is the main form of communication in most offices. Everyone stays locked in their offices and instead of getting up and walking 10 feet down the hall to ask a simple question, they send yet another email. And then a few minutes go by and ping … you get a response.

I have to admit I’m just as guilty as everyone else. Email is easy. Email is fast.  And with email I always have a record of what was mentioned or promised. However people are completely bombarded with email and it simply is no longer an effective communication tool. The constant stream of email can be overwhelming, difficult to manage and it absolutely is a source of frustration.

Before sending your next email, I urge you to not hit send, and instead go for that little walk down the hall.  Stretch your legs … take a break … and talk to your co-worker.  I’m sure they will appreciate one less email in their inbox. I know I would!

I’m looking forward to taking a few days off.  I’m actually planning on heading out of town a little early on Friday, and I think I might just leave my charger and work emails at home!  I’m sure I will regret it when I return to work on Tuesday and cringe when I see my bursting inbox … but oh to have 3 full days of actual conversation again.  Priceless.



4 thoughts on “What happened to the art of conversation?

  1. I completely concur with this post – emails, texts, pokes, and posts will be the death of us all. I personally need to learn to say ‘no.’ ‘No’ Jodi, you don’t need to check that new email or tweet that just came in at 10:43 p.m. My compulsive nature makes it very hard.
    Not only has emailing gotten out of hand but then there are the cc’d and bcc’d emails on top of it all. Emails are absolutely wonderful for leave a trail of communication but if they are unread or forgotten about does it really matter that you have that trail? Sometimes yes, most times no. #emailfatigue

  2. Yes, we are a society that texts and emails as it is convenient. I know it is the one way I can stay connected to my children. We are living in fast times. I was talking to a colleague at work about long distance plans and voice-mail and deals with cell companies. this young person said, who calls anymore?” I laughed as I though how sad no one wants to call anymore and hear he voice? we are all too busy? a text is easier? I like going off the grid too-but upon return to reality is is overkill with the emails at home and work, texts etc. I wonder if we will have a world with carpel tunnel in their thumbs etc from texting too much and folks who are not able to communicate face to face in the real world.

  3. You’re soooo right stvaughan. In my line of work I don’t get that many emails so I can’t really complain but still I find there are waaayy to many emails circulating. The other day, I saw an administrative assistant reading only the titles of the emails and transferring it into another file to be read on a later date if required. I think that approach is a great way to manage your email influx and your time while still having a grasp on situational awareness. As work as a paramedic so it is crucial to stay connected in case there is a major call going on in the city. We keep connected either by emails, texts and blackberry messenger. It’s a reality, a fact of life and we are all addicted to our mobile devices to view them and be updated. Yes it would be nice to be able to walk up to that person and talk to them but we’ve been invaded by technology and got used to it….thanks for the great article Livedwell1

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