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Have Cell-Phones killed the art of converation?

Have Cell-Phones killed the art of converation?

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Published by Suzanna Burke
Have cell-phones killed the art of conversation?
Have cell-phones killed the art of conversation?

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Published by: Suzanna Burke on Sep 28, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Have Cell-Phones killed the art of conversation?As a writer observation is and must be a tool I utilize. Lately Ihave noticed something during my observations that disturbs memore than a little.Let me tell you about something that happened recently.I was seated on a crowded commuter train. Across the aisle tomy left where two bench seats facing one another, occupied by 8young people around 15 years of age at a guess. They crammedin 4 aside, amid much laughter. I smiled fondly at the gigglingand recalled my own daughter at that age.That’s where the similarity ended. The giggling was familiar, thebehavior wasn’t.I looked on in utter fascination as one by one they extractedmobile phones and set their collective thumbs to work. Withinseconds the carriage was filled with the sound of ringingtelephones or music…I thought at first they had each receivedincoming calls simultaneously, weird yes…but plausible.It soon became obvious from the loud conversations that theywere in fact talking to each other.They were sitting knee touching knee, with faces less than 3 feetaway from each other talking to each other by telephone.I was jolted. What the?I watched. Waiting for the body language and eye contact tostart.It didn’t.Each youngster had their right or left hand up to their ear. Eachwere gazing of into a distance, avoiding eye contact with any of the others.
They gestured with their free hand …quite animatedly, chattingaway. It didn’t take long to figure who was talking to whom.A couple of the young guys were getting quite aggravated bywhat was being said, their voices raised and faces reddening.Everyone without a hearing aid, or an iphone inserted in the earcould clearly hear the conversations. “You are so dropped” she said. “Fuck you!” he saidAnother round of ringing phones. “She dropped me” he said “She’s a slut anyway!” from another of the males.This continued for around another ten minutes. By then mostpeople were craning forward so as not to miss the unfoldingdrama.During the entire display, no physical contact or eye contact tookplace. Not in any way.I was disturbed by it. Very disturbed. These teens didn’t appearto be aware of the other people in the carriage. They were in avacuum of space where only voices on a phone connected.Apart from the interruption of two of the group taking videos of the boys who had just been dropped…What the fuck?For me this has become a little frightening folks. What the hellhas the new technology created. What happened to kids talkingface to face and eye to eye?What happened to private moments shared between only twoparticipants?

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