Most of the most rewarding conversations I’ve had have been one on one. I never expected library conversations to be a huge theme in my life, but I’ve had similar conversations during a walk down Bellaire’s quarter-mile long main hallways in between classes, or even online.
I’ve never felt particularly comfortable in large groups. If I’m ever in a large group, I usually find one person to stick with, because in a group, I’m the most awkward; with another person, I’m just the MORE awkward. (I knew all those SAT grammar practice tests would do some good. )
What one on one conversations force you to do is to communicate with the other person regardless of who they are and outside of societal norms.
The fundamental societal flaw is that we’re unable to relate to people that aren’t like us. Politicians are accused of not understanding lower class struggles, and even within Bellaire, I have no idea how to start a conversation with the non-PAP/AP half of the school.
Generally, if I’m in a situation with someone where my options are: 1) I awkwardly talk to them, or 2) awkwardly stand/sit there saying nothing, I choose the latter. So far, it hasn’t resulted in anything horrible. Awkward yes, but I’m used to awkward.
However, this could easily result in a microaggression. Even then, most people don’t say microaggressions to offend people; they just don’t know how to relate to them properly.
Search Engine Communication
One of the problems with living a society where computers are becoming more and more powerful is that humans in general are expected to be smarter than the computers. This places a greater burden on us to be more creative, and this aspect seeps slightly into our social lives as well.
- Teachers are supposed to be more than mere deliverers of information
- Factory jobs are being replaced by more “21st-century” esque jobs
In terms of conversations, it means that I demand more than a machine answer in my conversations, something I like to call “search engine communication.”
When one person is merely asking questions to another person, and the other person is uninterested and merely spitting out responses, not much conversation is actually going on. Asking about homework, talking about school, and small talk, usually doesn’t get anywhere. It takes two passionate people to have a meaningful conversation.
In order to create these sorts of spaces, I need to veer away from my (very small) social group and reach out to people whom I wouldn’t normally approach. Which frankly, is hard.
Do we all become the same person in writing?
I like to think that I’m less awkward in writing than IRL since I can (and always) edit what I write. However, I’ve also been told that I write with a lot of “voice,” something I take as a mixed blessing.
With all the benefits I’ve gotten from writing on this blog, (mostly as a vehicle of narcissism and trying to sound somewhat intelligent.) I’ve tried convincing a fair number of friends to start blogs. I also Facebook/Gchat people quite a bit, (texting is sparse) and I sometimes feel like I’m talking to someone different. And sometimes, that’s a good thing. Text gets past all the nuances of communication, and allows people to state their ideas more clearly, but it’s the subtle pauses, glances, and giggles in conversation that make an in person conversation so much more personal.
That being said, I’ve become really interested in what people have to say. I don’t feel like it’s fair that I’m here pouring out my heart and soul and everyone else is just passively absorbing. I try to read as much as possible of what other people write, since writing usually addresses a different set of ideas than one would normally talk about in real life. At least for me.
To all those people who have started a blog, to all those people who I have essentially forced into blogging, to anyone interested in starting a blog, to anyone interested in writing, I say, DO IT. Yes, it’s time consuming. Yes, it’s scary, especially when I first started sharing my posts on Facebook. Yes, you’re probably going to look back on these posts with regret. But it’s surprisingly worthwhile when you can gather all your fringe thoughts into a coherent stream and realize that 1) you’re impressed by your previous writings and 2) other people are reading your writing.