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The art of conversation

Posted by: | October 21, 2009 | No Comment |

It is no secret that as technology grows the importance of the spoken word declines.  Information that used to be exclusive to town criers can now be found in forms such as newspapers, magazines, and most recently, the internet. As the internet evolves, we are no longer simply faced with countless websites but blogs, twitter and numerous other social networking sites.  In all of this there remains one question:  What happened to good ol’ conversation?

In the seventeeth century, Catherine de Vivonne escaped the bustle of Louis XIII‘s court in her Parisian townhome.  In her famous chambre bleue de Vivonne began receiving guests, primarily writers.  In these gatherings, conversation became an art and so by the 1630’s the day of the salon had begun.

French salons served several purposes throughout the years, including being centers for the exchange of news. This is where the elite gathered to discuss current events as well as works of art. There was no television or internet to use for entertainment or news, so people talked. What people of today’s world may find the most astonishing is that simply talking was more than enough.

So what’s so great about conversation? What the existence, and success, of these salons proved is that human-to-human interaction is a valuable experience.  Women hosted these gatherings with the intent of providing a place for these interactions to take place and be meaningful.  Has the need for this experience just evaporated into thin air?  I would say no, the need has not evaporated but the convenience has.

It is now so much simpler to communicate via technology that face-to-face time is sufferingNews travels in an instant and even that’s too slow. What we are losing with this attitude, however, is invaluable. People need other people, and people need conversation. Take some time out of your day, tell someone something you heard on the radio or about the weather.  Just talk to someone, you may be surprised at how much more fulfilling that is than staring at a computer screen.

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