Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Lost Art of Conversation

I spend most of my day typing snappy retorts over instant messenger, or thumbing in quick text replies on my cell phone. On those rare occasions that I send email, I'll spend a good hour writing it and editing it so it's something akin to a literary masterpiece. For email, at any rate. This usually means it's longer than most of the emails I'll ever receive.

But for all my long-winded electronic replies, quick remarks about everything under the sun in meebo.com, I find myself smiling and blushing as I try to carry on a regular conversation with friends in person. All my wit flees and I dangerously tread on foot-in-mouth territory.

I know there's a few people who would beg to disagree. And yes, I'm quite capable of intelligent and even interesting conversation, but that usually happens because I'm comfortable with the person I'm talking to. If I haven't seen a friend in awhile, or if it's someone I'm used to chatting online with then the cross-over to in person conversation seems to be a struggle. That stresses me out of course because I want to take advantage of every moment I have with my friends.

I know there have been studies about this and the Luddites have loudly proclaimed that the Internet would be the downfall of civilized conversation/letter writing/and traditional means of communication.

I'll continue to ponder that whilst I punch out another carefully worded text on my cell.

Addendum:
I think I have figured it out.

I'm an introvert.

When I get together with other introverts, I'm a regular Chatty Cathy.

When I get together with extroverts who hate any kind of silence, I give them the upper-hand in conversations because it's usually too hard to get a word in edgewise anyway.

I am my best with extroverts who know how to respect an introvert's space, and give me the 5 seconds I need to think and then spit out the brilliant thought that came to mind.

4 comments:

Kevin_H said...

You've always seemed witty and sharp in person to me. But then again I only have Matt to compare you by. Oooohhhh.....burn! No seriously, you are one of the few witty/sharp people I know. As far as the Luddites go I bet there were people like that around the campfire when tribes went from just grunting to using a written alphabet/hierogylphs/runes.

The Stenz said...

Julia you have one of the sharpest wits of anyone I know, and I always appreciate the wonderful conversations we have. I, in fact look forward to them. But Then again, someone once said we are similar people, and you certainly are one of my oldest and dearest friends.

Sara said...

OMG I just clicked on the meebo.com link...I am so excited I can talk to people at work now! Thank you!

NYCO said...

Julia: I hear ya!

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