Keep talking


Katya Tobak, Editor

“Hey. Hi, how are you? I’m good, how are you? Good. That’s good. Yeah. Yep.” A typical, personal conversation nowadays is represented by these seven, mere short phrases; the base for a face-to-face dialogue often ends and starts here, but why…? Shall we blame the vast evolution of technological innovation (i.e. phones, laptops, TVs, etc.), the lack of free time to develop a consistent face-to-face social life, the influence of the media, or perhaps, the pressuring risk of public humiliation? Or shall we blame, in fact, ourselves?

        That’s right – put the blame on us. We are the generation after generation that keep/continue society’s values, ideas, and perception in place, but have changed the way this is all perceived. Instead of letters, there are emails. Instead of phone calls, there are texts. Instead of printed photographs (from cameras), there are social media networks. We have joined an era where a quick “catch up” over a cup of coffee has become less common, and has been replaced by Instagram photos, Twitter hashtags, and Netflix seasons; no wonder we feel a stumble in talking.

        Now…let’s take an up close look at the art of conversation. A simple hello is always genuine, but what comes next determines, essentially, the fate of it all. We have forgotten to carry on the rest of the (in)formal exchange after the ordinary (grammatically incorrect) response of “I’m good.” Whether you know your fellow discusser well or not, there are always clues that lead into the next phase of a dialogue; these hints are what we ought to value about others, transforming a casual discourse into something more meaningful, and perhaps, life-changing. It could be a science teacher where we could assume that they would be more than passionate to explain if you asked what is the difference between a covalent and non-covalent bond, and how it relates to us, or an English teacher where a simple question about how to accelerate in writing would end up exploring the endless classics or entering in local writing competitions. It could be fellow athlete whose experience and perspective could help you determine which sport would fit best for you, or it could be a veteran club owner whose determination and devotion to their interest helped start a popular club at school, explaining how you could do the same!

Unfortunately, we have come to underestimate not just ourselves, but others as well, not giving birth to not just a conversation, but a possible, close relationship. So, the next time you run into a fellow human being and talking is an option, don’t just ask for their Snapchat username, to be “friends” with them on Facebook, or to “follow” them on Twitter or Instagram. Instead…after they say those words of “I’m good,” your next step is to create art…with a simple question, comment, or a combination. It wouldn’t hurt, it will only make you grow.