Have we lost the ability to converse?

Having recently read the two articles that are hyperlinked below;one by the JakartaGlobe and the other by Sir Richard Bronson. I will use them in setting the stage for me to express a few of my own modern behavioral observations. Being active on social media, I have seen updates that are just cryptic hash tags that are very funny, but seriously, how does one think up such things in the first place? My understanding of a hashtag is that they are used to group like tags together. I’ve seen a few that are one time use only never to be repeated or seen again in our life; like a wasted effort of expressions.

Obviously the online 140 character digital world has its fads, slangs and emoticons. That world is now transitioning to be verbal and is continually expanding our vocabulary with new words in an attempt to shorten our verbal conversations to the 140 character limit. Just like our online conversations, we spend a few minutes trying to determine how best to ask a simple question. Almost as if typing it and deleting and rearranging the words that you believe will show your brilliant use of modern English and gain the desired response. Should you get that unexpected response you again churn internally for a few more minutes trying to devise a master plan on how to ask that same question with a very different choice of words, but this time more determined to lead to an answer that is acceptable and goes along with your point of view.

Where has the KISS principle gone? As I previously blogged, one of the most difficult feats is to design with simplicity in mind. This is because your product will hopefully be used by thousands of strangers. But in a conversation not only can you read body language, but you should have a fair idea of the intellectual level of the other person(s) to use less words and move the conversation on quickly. Does the body language not speak to annoyed and wanting to be teleported out of the line of conversation?

Personally, I am either a really bad listener or really good at cutting to the chase. I’ve been known to hurry a conversation along as I know time is not renewable and is preciously short on any given day. While my goal is to work at becoming a better listener, I am still challenged with how I can achieve that when I’ve already had a reason to dismiss the conversation’s skewed timelines and cunning maneuvers by way of leading questions? Fortunately Brevity is the soul of wit and so my responding with quick, short to the point questions will shorten those unnecessarily lengthy conversations.

Big Words: When Less is (Literally) More

Get to the point – fast

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