Saturday essay: Can we talk?
At some point in the not-too-distant future, people may well wonder whatever happened to the art of conversation — you know, when folks actually talked to each other.
Next time you're in a restaurant, movie theater before the show or some other social setting, take note of what people are doing. How often do you see Mom, Dad and the kids sit down, pull out their smartphones (or whatever other devices they carry around) and start texting and/or tweeting away? Or maybe they're browsing the Internet for the umpteenth time.
Especially with young people, whether they're hanging out at the mall, waiting for a meal or simply spending time with friends, out pop the cellphones.
This is not to suggest a Luddite mentality toward remarkable technology that, in so many ways, makes life easier. But for a middle-aged fella who rarely ever texts or tweets, the question arises: Are these modern conveniences being used to excess — and at a detriment to how people reason and communicate?
How often do we text when a phone call would be more appropriate? How much time do we spend putting up minutiae on Facebook? And how many times in casual conversation with young people do we notice that there's no eye contact whatsoever? Just a blank expression — perhaps reminiscent of the Eloi in H.G. Wells' “The Time Machine.”
Tonight at dinner, turn off the phones, put away the tablets and enjoy a good ol'-fashioned engaging conversation. And let's hope that never goes out of style.
— Bob Pellegrino
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- So, where’s the I-70 ‘Welcome to Pennsylvania’ sign on the Pa.-W.Va. border?
- The Fiat Chrysler mess: Government’s virus
- At the VA: The waiting dead
- Pittsburgh Tuesday takes
- The Export-Import Bank: The Senate’s shame
- Connellsville police seek help in crime crackdown
- Yes, the IRS targeted conservatives
- Alle-Kiski Laurels & Lances
- The wind ruse: A failed policy
- Mon-Yough Tuesday takes
- Greensburg Laurels & Lances