My students tell me about an important new skill: it involves maintaining eye contact with someone while you text someone else; it’s hard, but it can be done.
We’ve become accustomed to a new way of being “alone together.”
A businessman laments that he no longer has colleagues at work. He doesn’t stop by to talk; he doesn’t call. He says that he doesn’t want to interrupt them. He says they’re “too busy on their e-mail.” But then he pauses and corrects himself.“I’m not telling the truth. I’m the one who doesn’t want to be interrupted. I think I should. But I’d rather just do things on my BlackBerry.”
“Someday, someday, but certainly not now, I’d like to learn how to have a conversation.”
Human relationships are rich;
they’re messy and demanding.
we have confused conversation with connection and collectively seem to have embraced a new kind of delusion that accepts the simulation of compassion as sufficient unto the day.
Lacking the capacity for solitude, we turn to other people but don’t experience them as they are.It is as though we use them and need them as spare parts to support our increasingly fragile selves.
Most of all, we need to remember ~ in between texts and e-mails and Facebook posts ~ to listen to one another, even to the boring bits, because it is often in unedited moments, moments in which we hesitate and stutter and go silent, that we reveal ourselves to one another.