5 Ways to curb “Internetia”
So there I was at my sister’s Birthday party this weekend. Half way through the night…BAM!!! it struck me! People don’t know how to speak to each other anymore. Some people were loud, interrupting and talked over others, some were on their phones and the rest sat quietly trying to keep up with the chaos. Thanks to the internet, we are losing our ability to carry a conversation with others. In social media we type a quick response and reply quicker before they even had a chance to complete what they had wanted to say. You post what only appeals to you and voice your opinions with nothing more than a picture or a phrase shared by others. You don’t have to respond to comments, because the “like” button or a “LOL” is sufficient. It’s made us self-centered and unable to carry conversation.
Needless to say, that inspired me to teach people how to get back to basics. Here are 5 ways to carry a conversation once you have said the initial “hello’s” and “how ya doing’s? 1) Start or join a conversation: I know! But you to! And don’t worry. This is very easy really. If you know the people, ask them about their family or jobs and then start talking about the venue/ weather. If you don’t know them, introduce yourself in more detail and then ask them how they know the host or where they are from.
2) Be engaging by asking questions: Asking questions tells the person you are talking to that you are interested in the conversation. If you don’t ask questions, the conversation will dry up and get very awkward. Be prepared to have follow up questions and or share your own opinions or experiences.
3) Find something in common: Pay attention and maybe you will learn something about that person. If the person traveled somewhere or read a book that you have too, then allow them to finish telling you about it and reciprocate by sharing your own personal experience.
4) Listen: We all know this is true! Everyone just wants to be heard! Look the person in the eye and not at the floor or your phone. Really listen to what they have to say and make the conversation about them, not you. Understanding a person avoids misunderstandings!
5) Be nice: Smile, be friendly and have a sense of humor. Don’t be distant, curt or rude. If you interrupt people not only will they think you have lost interest in them, but they will think you are self absorbed and full of it. So there you have it folks! Beat the endemic “Iternetia” that is sweeping our humanity into a a bunch of inequiped conversationalists.