The Lost Art of Conversation

When I was a child, my mother always commented on how hard her life was. She walked to school uphill both ways in the snow. There was no TV, microwave ovens, cell phones or the internet. There was radio and party lines.

We as children had it easy, she always said.

Dirk and I are travelling with electronics. We have turned off my cell phone until we returning from Asia, using just Dirks. We both have our laptops, plus an iPad. These help us stay in contact with family, letting them know we are okay. Plus I can post witty blogs about our adventures.

We are now ending our month in California and I am amazed at the overuse of technology. We are sitting on a bus tour at the San Diego zoo, the boy in front of me is playing a game on his iPad, the girl beside me is texting nonstop. But at least their not annoying their parents with questions about the animals.

No one can walk without looking at their phones. I don’t think anyone is going to miss anything in life while walking from the car and into the shopping mall. Wouldn’t you want to cross the street and not get hit by a car? Or would you rather ensure your friends know you got their text? Most people prefer the latter.

What about dining? When did we stop caring about the art of conversation? Did you really come to the restaurant to meet friends just to play on your phones? I look around the restaurant, parents and children not talking. All intently looking at their phones as whatever is on them is much more important then asking their child how their days was.

I had lots of rules to follow. No TV until your homework was done. No going to see your friends until your chores were done. We had to be home for dinner. Not just to eat, but to help prepare the meal, set the table, and clean up afterwards. If the phone rang, no one was to answer. There was no answering machine, people had to call back. The TV was turned off, the only entertainment was the stories we told of our day.

Dirk and I are trying to go back to those days. We have cancelled cable. We are trying to leave the cell phone alone at the restaurant. We still have a few steps to go before we are not always linked to our devices, but while sight seeing, we are actually looking at the sights.

Click here for more funny phone addiction cartoons.

Travel Tip:

When traveling abroad (outside of Canada and the US) have your cell phone carrier unlock your phone. When you arrive at each country, purchase a SIM card. This works best if you are staying in a country for longer then one week. Phones that are not being taken can be put on ‘hibernate’ while you travel for a small fee. Better than paying your full bill while you are gone.

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