Daria Kuss wrote a piece called ‘Connections aren’t conversations – while technology enables, it can also interfere’, on the blog The Conversation.
Here is a snippet.
‘In 2013 Sherry Turkle, a clinical psychologist and… professor at… Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wrote Alone Together, in which she questioned the extent to which social media is bringing people together. Following decades of research on the profound impact of modern technology on human relationships, Turkle concluded that with the omnipresence of technology “we’re moving from conversation to connection”.
‘Connection, it seems, denotes a very different quality of social interaction in comparison to conversation, as it refers to continuous streams of little titbits of information, such as those neatly packaged into 140 characters on Twitter.
‘Conversation, on the other hand, refers to listening and empathic understanding, actively attending to another person, rather than fleetingly commenting on their status updates online while simultaneously talking on the phone, doing the laundry, or preparing the children’s dinner’…
I remember high quality conversations. Back in high school, when I went to boarding school, for example. We lived together, teens, studying and laughing and joking and talking. There was a pay phone at the end of the hallway in my dorm, and it was shared by 30 of us on our floor. There were no televisions allowed, and this was before internet and way, way before smartphones.
The lost art of (old school) conversation
I am terrible at new school communication. I do not have a smartphone. I don’t get emojis.
Old school, though. I like it.
If you wanted to talk to someone you went to their room, and knocked on the door or told their roommate. Sometimes we left notes for each other. Like, on paper. Me, I was big into that. I used to write letters, too. Sometimes I wrote postcards when I went on big trips, and one of my favorite things to do was put cool stamps from wherever onto those and send them to my friends. My actual, real friends, not ‘connections.’ I remember the feeling of being heard, listened to, and discovering new things about someone by simply being together to make time for each other. I am not going to get all nostalgic and go misty eyed about the way things were because the 90s had tons of issues. [deleted]
But yeah. I remember conversations in high school being low-key and fun. I tried to this though other chapters of my life, that is, get people together. Just for fun. To, like, you know. Talk. I remember the sensations of lightness, laughter, and talking over one another. I remember this and I tried to re-create it through Atelier S P A C E popups, around Southeast Asia and Northern Europe, in 2017-2022. Hard. Really hard.
Would I say that my Atelier S P A C E popups to create high quality conversation spaces actually worked?
Several were very, very lovely.
And, so. Redirecting.
I’m on to ‘Conversations‘, instead.
Photo: Atelier S P A C E Bangkok 2019