Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Commoditization of Conversation

It is more than putting your two cents in, or a penny for your thoughts, conversation is more profitable now than anytime in history and sadly, some--note, Sarah Palin-- are well compensated to speak.

I was inspired to write this post because I am reading--as usual-- a book titled, "The Art of Conversation: A Guided Tour of a Negelected pleasure" by Catherine Blythe. Yes, sadly, that is the most conversation that I get. I also receive conversation from audio books and the television. I guess I should be one of the greatest listeners in the world, but, to be honest, I am usually distracted by my own thoughts to listen carefully.

I am paying to hear these conversations. We pay now for the mediums used to converse and contradictory to the saying, talk is not cheap. We are billed for the internet, cable television, and cellular phones. We tweet, facebook it, blog, vlog and text our thoughts and we pay dearly for this.

Even though, on the surface, we appear well connected, we are distancing ourselves and replacing our socialization with technology. I embrace technology, however, it seems the majority of people cannot create the balance that we need as social animals.

Blythe mentions that in South Korea children go to government sponsored rehabilitation centers to wean them from their internet addiction. This demonstrates how these new ways of communicating are altering our culture.

My two cents: we need to think before we speak--especially Sarah Palin-- and make sure to converse with family, friends and strangers in person as we would online.

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