Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Small courtesies are the lubricant of social interaction

We had a bit of stress today as the time spent in close proximity amped up.

I suspect the ERJ family was not unique.

I was guilty of "tuning-out" when somebody was talking to me.

It was a reminder that small courtesies are the lubricant that keep the gears of social interaction from eating themselves up.

For instance:
  • Address the person you are speaking with by name before launching into your conversation.
  • Get within the person's cone-of-vision. If it is important enough to demand the other person's attention, it is important enough to include your body language and facial expressions.
  • Respect the other person's time. Say what you are going to say. Don't let it dribble out with interminable gaps of time between the questions like an airplane running out of fuel. Start...stop..start.......stop. Start.stop.
As the receiving end of the conversation, I should have turned and faced the speaker. Then I could have seen the degree of multi-tasking. I should have been more present for the conversation and put down what I was doing.

Texting made us sloppy. We do eighteen things at a time and "service" the person (people) we are conversing with by squeezing them into the cracks and crevices. That does not work so well in meat-space.


  1. https://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/columnists/colours-of-china/2020/03/16/long-queue-for-divorce-after-outbreak

  2. The quality of conversation has deteriorated since the advent of the hand held communication device known as the smart phone. This is more common with younger people who due to their isolation within their electronic cocoon are just not as aware or as informed of life outside the bubble as they ought to be.

    That leaves adults in a pickle too. Some adults are equally as immersed in the internet environment and are as ill prepared for 'organic conversation' as many younger folks are.

    Prior to the advent of the social network people all shared life, at least the overall spectrum of available content, fairly equally. Opinions regarding the issues of the times would vary inevitably along age lines but it was possible to have some semblance of a discussion over a singular issue between all ages. This is just not happening today.

    So, if your eyes are glazing over when your 'tweener' is rattling on about some issue that exists in their 'social networking circle' it is more due to your simply being completely ignorant of the entire concept. As you point out, manners in conversation help mitigate offenses being taken.

  3. I noticed some years ago the conceit of the young that they were able to multitask things like driving and texting and communicating in meatspace and cyberspace was a delusion. In truth they were able to do neither effectively. But you can't tell them that, noooo. Right up until the crash drives their effing cellphone into their face and wrecks my car. Little bastards.

  4. I'm sorry. What was that again?

    Last week, The Mrs. read me a funny story. I then (five minutes later) read it back to her. I was horribly embarrassed.

    She did the same thing to me this week.



Readers who are willing to comment make this a better blog. Civil dialog is a valuable thing.