I remember as a child when I lived in my grandmother’s house, how we would eat breakfast together and how she would talk to us. There was a warm feeling of just being able to spend some time with her before we went to school. Mealtimes were important, a time to reconnect. A time to just enjoy that intimate moment of someone who were sharing the story of their day, whatever the story was.
At school, in the playground we never stood still, we were always using imagination, creating new games. Always something happening. I can remember watching and observing, already at that age kids are developing individual skills.
I loved when teachers would tell stories. Storytelling is a powerful tool. What has happened to it? I remember bedtime in the children’s home. Each night the person responsible for our room would tell us a story, read from a book. In those magic moments I would forget I was not living at home, it was a moment of intimacy. I became part of that story too with my imagination and feelings. Today, every night before I fall asleep I spend some time reading a book. Just as I did as a child I become part of that story.
People talked with one another in a different way in those days, we shared much more. In play or in family interaction we were learning to communicate, to develop skills so that we could become much more socially competent. With the technology we have today with data, text messages etcetera where is the connection? Where is the feeling? If I send an email or a text message something is missing. When I speak I like to have the person in front of me, to get a feeling of what they really mean.
Generally speaking I believe that we are losing the art of conversation, we are not developing it. Modern technique has its uses, of course, but I can be in a restaurant with a group of friends and how often do I not see people who seemingly do not enjoy their meal together, because they are too busy checking their phones, surfing the internet etcetera? Have we become addicted to technology, are we too dependent on it?
When I have a course, laptops, IPads and mobile telephones are not allowed in the course room. It is amazing to see when people put those objects to one side and start talking to one another or begin a conversation with themselves, it is magic. It is like another door opens for them, a door that they seemingly had neglected.
Conversation is food for our soul and it is necessary, with others and ourselves. Conversation is imperative in everyday life, sharing, learning, opening new doors, meeting one another. Even if there is a conflict situation or something like that, to sit down and talk from the heart, what you really feel. That can solve so many problems that cannot be solved in depth by sending an email or a text message.
Family-time is an intimate time. Another time too, when you are eating together with someone and all of a sudden they need to take a photograph of what they are eating. They are not there in the moment. I simply do not understand, perhaps I am old fashioned. Mealtimes gives us an excellent opportunity to connect.
I must hasten to add, it is not always easy in the times that we live, to find time to sit together at family mealtimes. Are we losing touch with one another? Could it be that parents and children do not connect in the same way anymore? Do we create proper time to be with one another?
As I write this article I just tell you how I feel and I have spoken to many others that feel the same way. If I have a business meeting or something like that I want to discuss things face to face. Who am I talking to? At the same time I give them the opportunity to discover who I am.
Modern technology is necessary for the future, but we must not forget that we need to develop the skill of conversation. True conversation creates a meeting place between people. If we lose these social skills what happens to our emotional development? These are just my thoughts, I do not know if I am right or wrong. Sometimes this worries me. We do need technology, but we also need to develop our social skills. If I did not have social skills I would not have the equipment to work with people. I would not understand empathy or feelings, because it would never have been part of my development.
I would very much like to hear your thoughts on this.