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Posted by on Mar 11, 2013 in Life | 3 comments

The art of conversation

The art of conversation

My family and I were having dinner the other night when I noticed a table of teenage girls sitting across from us at the restaurant.  I began to observe their interaction and noticed that they had not said a word to each other the entire time.  Rather, they were all on their smartphones texting other people–probably even texting each other.  This is not normal. For humans.

OK, phones are not necessarily a problem, but really? Texting the friend just beyond the half empty ketchup bottle instead of simply speaking it? This is not why we go to Outback, is it? (Disclaimer: I fully condone texting an individual in a group conversation as an alternative to whispering a secret. For example, Steve, can you believe those girls are just texting?)

But, as a consequence of this digital phenomenon, many people do not know how to communicate face to face because they are so used to hiding behind a screen. They don’t know how to deal with an actual human being. I even find myself texting people confrontational things I would likely not say to their face. And when I encounter them, I often regret the text.

Now, I love texting. It’s great. Probably the best invention since the Chi. It saves time, can get me out of a tight situation (Steve, what’s your friend who works at Best Buy’s wife’s sister’s name?), and is an overall good thing. But it does not replace personal contact.

God is a relational God. And He created you and me to be relational, too. We need personal contact. We need to relearn the art of conversation. We need to be able to encounter intimacy in our friendships. Jesus lauded Mary for sitting at his feet, soaking in his presence. There is no substitute for face time! (see what I did there) We need community. We need to text sometimes, too. But that should never take the place of a good ole heart to heart, while face to face.

About The Author

Courtney Bullard

Bullard is founder of I.D. Ministries, which helps teenage girls find their true identity in Christ.

Courtney Bullard has blogged 11 posts at

3 responses to “The art of conversation”

  1. Robin says:

    Agreeed it makes me a little worried about future generations too.

  2. April Haun says:

    I would text how much I love this article and agree with it but I think that would be missing the point! You are so right though! I am so guilty about hiding behind the face of technology. Thanks for a reminder about the importance of a true personal relationship.

  3. April Clay says:

    great article Courtney! a great challenge to be intentional.