The Conversation Killer

March 2, 2011
Texting, while you are already involved in a face to face conversation with someone is definitely a conversation killer. Texting has taken over as a major form of communication, even causing some people to believe they can have two separate conversations at the same time. When having a nice conversation with someone it is very frustrating when their phone beeps and they commence to text, but also nod their head, while looking at their phone, and pretend to still be taking part in the conversation.
This unfortunate “conversation killer” phenomenon has occurred too many times to count. Just last week I was sitting in the lunch room, having a nice lunch, talking with some friends when the text message buzzer rings on my friend’s phone. The conversation was abruptly put on hold by the “conversation killer” until he could return an apparently very important, probably not, text. I was tempted to inform my friend that he was interrupting a nice conversation!
Texting is done in the most inappropriate places and situations: during a wedding, during a funeral, while driving, while talking to someone else, while trying to sell a product to a customer, or while behind a customer service desk. Okay, taking a brief urgent phone call is understandable if it is infrequent and quick. How would your texting friends like it if their surgeon, in the middle of an operation, answered his cell phone or returned a text? If a sales person answered a cell phone call and talked for any length or texted a message while you were there, you would find another sales person to help or even walk out of the store.
People sometimes seem to engage in this regrettable behavior simply because of the sound. This sound comes in many different options, a ring, a buzz, a bell, a song, a jingle, the options are endless. Any of these bells or whistles apparently convey the same unspoken message; respond now or die.
We have heard some people say that this generation should be applauded for being able to "multi-task", but the problem comes when that multi-tasking includes being rude to another person, in person. Why not be rude to the phone and make it wait? The person on the other end of the text probably wouldn’t mind at all if the returning text was a bit delayed.
This “conversation killer” is undoubtedly done without the realization of its rudeness. I will admit that I have caught myself engaging in this regrettable behavior without fully realizing my actions. As I started to respond to my text message, I had a dawning moment of realization and quickly corrected my actions. Therefore, hopefully people will realize the rudeness of the “conversation killer” and correct the immediate texting response.

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