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Knight: The Death of Conversation

Written By Editor on 9/11/14 | 9/11/14

Approximately twenty-five hundred students attend SUNY Cobleskill annually, where we stumble across campus with our heads down and phones up on a regular basis. Or even worse, we congregate in restaurants or buffets, and silently eat our food and stare at our electronic distractions while hanging out with friends and classmates.

And people wonder why we need to take classes on interpersonal communications and conversational skills to graduate from college. 

It is truly a saddening state of affairs in human existence when college age adults, living in the height of our lives, cannot look away from our Iphone 5 or Galaxy smartphones to acknowledge the shy girl sitting in the corner, or push away our virtual worlds to engage in real world, wholesome and lasting interactions with fellow human beings.

Another thing that is sad? We actually have to differentiate between the real and virtual worlds in our depressing state of twenty-first century existence. Oy vey. 

Don't get me wrong: I am just as guilty of this than anyone else. I use computers in-class to check facebook statuses, order hockey tickets, or message other friends in the exact same course. But I, at least, feel guilty about my behavior and try to make up for it by encouraging real interaction. 

Encouragement that often falls on death ears.

Yet, for all the time we spend in the virtual world; if often yields little of value beyond the immediate search for something to occupy our ever decreasing attention spans. Sure, everyone was aware of Robin Williams' death, but President Obama's national address on combating ISIS? No dice. 

Still, despite my lamentations, real and lasting friendships are made on college campuses everyday world wide. Relationships are birthed between flirtatious youth, and knowledge is expanded in the classroom, whether we as students want it or not. 

However, though, my concerns and qualms remain not as a Luddite, hellbent on the destruction of technology, but as a communicator fearful of the great art that is conversation, ultimately and irreparably declining to a form of emoticons and grunts where it had once been an expression of verbal prose, beautiful and powerful all the same.

- Timothy Knight 
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E_D_Casabonne said...

Very Well said, Mr. Knight.

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