Is Conversation Dead?

Wonder if I should start this post with a ‘is it just me, or does it happen to you as well?’ kind of bewildered question – but having read a few articles about this topic – made me wonder – if it’s just me who’s missing ‘conversations’ from his life – or are there more like me?

Those intellectualizing this, were lamenting the reduction of conversations to 140 characters and over skype ‘let’s go for lunch’ instead of enough face to face communication.

While I don’t feel a lot is lost by conversing on any of these modern tools.. what does feel strange is if I’d be put with any from 80% of of the 1000s of people I’m connected to on FB – we’d run out of conversation in a few minutes.

So in a lot of cases, I don’t have things to talk about.. and thinking of the people and time when i didn’t have to ‘think what to talk’ and when intermittent silences weren’t awkward.. I don’t talk to them often anymore!

Why is 95% of all that I talk to anyone lately – so completely transactional in nature? It’s rather seldom that I talk anything without a purpose in mind. Every call or meeting has to have an agenda. Even friends are called up for a reason, very seldom for generally catching up!

Oh, and after the transaction is over, there’d always be an enthused and polite ‘Let’s meet up sometime ya.- Sure!!’ when both of us know well, we don’t mean it.

There was a chapter in my high school hindi book – about conversations – the author wrote with passionate poetic romance about the beauty of conversations. Of course, I was too dumb to appreciate it then – but having gone through a phase when a conversation could last through the night and yet not end – I know what he was talking about. Be it over maggis in the canteen, or over a walk by the lake-side or over the phone or gtalk..

Should I even get into the variety of topics – from physics to religion, to psychology to philosophy, to faith and feminism, from relationships to politics…..

It amuses me to note the number of lines some of my gtalk chat archives have! And it’s not a great feeling that none of those are less than a year old! And it amuses me to think of the times when I used to struggle to pay my phone bills – and had bought a cheap call rate sim in collaboration with another talkative friend.

I have a rather small personal phone bill lately. I’d thought that I’d be dialing more people more often now that I spend a good amount of time in the car – on the way from home to office and back.. but after a few months of having thought so – it doesn’t seem like I’m in much better touch with people I’d have liked to be talking more. Radio, and my lost world of thoughts is what keeps me company.

The whole social media thing – wonder if it’s done more harm than good – in enabling me to keep in touch with people. Commenting on their pics does keep me abreast with what they did on their b’day and the last vacation – but well, haven’t heard someone animatedly narrate the whole series of events lately. One could say that life’s so busy these days – where’s the time – but I really don’t think time is the culprit here.

So maybe then, it’s to do with the lack of motivation, or pre-occupation with our own travails of life – that keeps us away from delving too much into someone else’s life…or spare enough moments for a fulfilling chat.

So well, here’s to all the people who’ve shared those maggis with me, or taken those lake side walks, or stayed up late nights talking over the phone and gtalk.. or the ones that have exchanged lengthy hearty mails with me…and those who’ve filled up pages after pages of ‘classes and conversations’ on the last bench.

I miss you. What else would justify staying back in office, all by myself on a Friday evening – to say all of this!

And well, this in no way to undervalue the people in my life right now – who do their bit to keep the conversationalist in me alive.

Guess a slice of life – is what my rant is likely to be about. Nothing profoundly intelligent or stimulating. Just some things that make me step back and take a hard look at how life’s shaping up!

Guess I’m just being resistant to change! Some changes just suck!

The Week 2.0 – A Crowdsourced Magazine with Adsense in Print!

Talking and generating ideas.. has never been difficult for me or for anyone for that matter.

What happens next, is the question. Today morning’s conversation with a friend, lagordabella on LiL and @labellagorda on twitter.

Here’s a today morning’s conversation, on things going the 2.0 way. I some how find this whole thing rather fascinating. soon will talk about how Kitchen 2.0 can work, and so can Gifting 2.0

pjr: The NYT goes in depth about The Printed Blog, the new startup that will print blog posts up into newspaper form and sell ads on them. It’s still a dumb idea.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/22/technology/start-ups/22blogpaper.html

me: who’s saying it’s dumb idea? you or someone else?

pjr: someone else, it will work in india

me: yeah, that’s what, already we have bloggers writing columns

pjr: i know

me: but thoda fight hai, the gratification of conversations doesn’t come from print..anyway

pjr: i agree

me: i think it’ll be syndicated content rather than only-for-print so it’s fine

pjr: yeah

me: worth giving a shot, but gotta do a lot of PR..and maintain content quality

pjr: but i guess it cud still work in india without its conversativeness…is that a word?

me: where does ‘conservativeness’ come into the picture?

pjr: conVERsativeness

me: oh. ok yeah as i said syndication, so the original conversation goes on

pjr: true

me: but I’d rather put a magazine format than a newspaper format, a weekly on should be good

pjr: a weekly maybe

me: crowdsourced : The week 2.0

pjr: the week 2.0, sounds nice!

me: the authors can get a share of the revenue, and not charge for the content upfront

pjr: yeah

me: So time for the Week 2.0 project you know who’s doing it?

pjr: šŸ™‚

me: i think this would make more sense in vernacular

you might just get a whole lot of new blogging enthusiasts.. if they know it’s gonna be printed and circulated

pjr: wow the vernacular thing sounds even better

me: India! hinterlands

pjr: šŸ™‚

me: access to content, but you need to note that for them, the content source is irrelevant

pjr: agreed

me: you’ll be compared with everything else on the shelf

pjr: hmmm

me: this just gives you a wider casting net, and ad sales.. shouldn’t end up adding a Lot of overhead costs

pjr: hmm

me: put an online platform to crowdsource ads too

pjr: hmm

me: become the adsense of print ;P

ideas galore

pjr: hmmm

me: you plan to do it. lemme know… else.. it’s just ideating !

pjr: well we cud do it

me: cud.. and REALLY want to!! are different

pjr: i know

me: it takes more than a could.. I know that well now šŸ™‚

pjr: lol