I Had a Conversation Yesterday
Last night, I noticed my phone battery was about 60% higher than normal for that time. I racked my brain to remember when during the afternoon I’d charged it. Nada. When I realized why I couldn’t’ve charged it, it hit me why I had extra power. I simply hadn’t used my phone all afternoon. Instead, I had a real conversation.
It must what it was like to get to know someone in the days before cell phones became the internet boxes they are now. We simply sat and talked. This lasted about two hours, and it was so comfortable and interesting I looked at my phone about twice.
So now I’m sitting around, writing an essay on being rejuvenated by the experience, on going on a “reset” for my mental health, on being in the moment. Right? That’s really how this works, isn’t it?
Well, maybe I just wanted to share that news with you: I rediscovered how nice it can be to connect with a person who’s making eye contact with you. And it was nice. It was like giving myself a reprieve from all the other stuff I do in any given afternoon and relaxing with some good company. But I have this theory that it was only bearable to be so cut off from all my tech because it was not a conscious decision.
What I’m thinking right now: if you have ambitions of going places in life, you still have to deal with people, and the best way to do that is going to a cafe in the city and talking to them for awhile. It’s still a human world and I wanted to write this article for the purpose of exploring what that means for an intellectual who is putting their focus on another human.
“Being obsessively interested in ourselves, we think about the human world.”
The article I quoted above- Letter to an Aspiring Intellectual- addresses humanity as intellectuals and it made me think of how phones have almost assuredly become a barrier forbidding the free interaction between intellectuals the way they can also function as the enabler for this interaction. When having a conversation in this day and age, we can derive meaning effectively when we keep it human.
I know you have ambitions (intellectuals always do) and you are driven to produce results. Think about all the people who can and will help you on your way to that place you so covet your heroes of antiquity for being. Now, your task is to converse with them face to face and forge a connection because you’ve gotten to know the people who can help you or make you happy.
So, let me leave you with parting words: as an intellectual, you should be sure to take time for the genuine conversations that matter enough to leave an impression.
Thanks very much for reading. For more like this, view my published essays for Invisible Illness.
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It’s important to discuss these things.