Connection x Conversation

  • Difference between conversation and connection
    • A conversation can take the form of a face-to-face meeting, or it can be a video chat or a phone call, so long as it matches Sherry Turkle’s criteria of involving nuanced analog cues, such as the tone of your voice or facial expressions.

    • Anything textual or non interactive; basically, all social media, email, text, and instant messaging; doesn’t count as conversation and should instead be categorized as mere connection.

    • Connection is downgraded to a logistical role:
      • To help set up and arrange conversation
      • To efficiently transfer practical information
  • Favorable is conversation-cerntric philosophy
    • “Face-to-face conversation is the most human and humanizing thing we do. Fully present to one another, we learn to listen. It’s where we develop the capacity for empathy. It’s where we experience the joy of being heard, of being understood.” - Sherry Turkle

  • Conversation is the only form of interaction that in some sense counts toward maintaining a relationship.
  • Practice: Don’t click like
    • “Don’t click “Like”. Ever. And while you’re at it, stop leaving comments on social media posts as well. Remain silent."

    • Refusing to use social media icons and comments to interact means that some people will inevitably fall out of your social orbit; in particular, those whose relationship with you exists only over social media.

    • The idea that it’s valuable to maintain vast numbers of weak-tie social connections is largely an invention of the past decade.

  • Practice: Hold conversation office hours
    • An effective strategy for improving your social life because it overcomes the major obstacle to meaningful socializing: the concern that unsolicited calls might be bothersome. People crave real conversation, but this obstacle is often enough to prevent it.

      • If you remove it by holding conversation office hours, you’ll be surprised by how many more of these rewarding interactions you can now fit into your normal week.