The Lost Art of Conversation
I highly value humor in things. I doubt anyone likes funny and goofy more than I do. Among my husband's many fine qualities, he has a hilarious sense of humor that I just can't do without. While not especially gifted with comedy myself, I am surrounded by people that make my life feel like an old episode of Seinfeld and I love it!
One thing I dislike, however, is how TV shows and movies and pop culture, in general, are so geared to make everything overly funny or, as a friend of mine stated, forcing the “rapid fire” witty one-liners that sound unnatural and scripted. Conversation is definitely becoming a lost art, and now it isn't even being mastered on TV!
I recently canceled my cable because I simply do not watch TV at all anymore, except during football season. I'm going to miss that. But it seemed like everything on TV was another overly dramatized string of unnatural witty banter that didn't really amount to much, and truthfully isn't that funny either. How I miss the clever writing and dialogue of Frasier!
All of this, unfortunately, has set a poor example of how to communicate. Between text messages and these poor examples of conversation on TV, people don't say a lot with meaning anymore. I love reading and hearing dialogue that is meaningful, and where the memorable one-liners are strong and brilliant, and fewer and farther between.
Effective is better than funny. Meaningful is better than witty sarcasm. But maybe those things don't put asses in the seats these days. They say the human attention span is now shorter than three minutes. Gotta pack in all of those one-liners before people get bored and pick up their phones!
I have both hope and fear in this. I hope to be an effective communicator, and I fear becoming the one who tries too hard to be funny and then isn't. I value my friends and family who stimulate me with interesting conversation, filled with depth and intriguing ideas. And when it is funny and goofy, I love it, but I love it because it is natural.
I will resist my fears and turn instead to my hope of communicating well and hope it touches someone's heart someday.