Whatever happened to the friendly chat? (You know, as I was writing that, I realized that "The Friendly Chat" sounds like something out of either Dr. Suess or Edward Gorey.)
All over social media, as we get closer to next week's election, people have stopped chatting. No one is really even being social. There's no good-natured back-and-forth debate about the issues. There's really just a lot of "Either you agree with me or you have to leave" going on.
And when I say "chat" I'm not talking about Instant Messaging. I'm talking about having short, congenial, dialogues on a variety of subjects.
On TV and the radio (yes, I actually still listen to the radio), it seems that all of the pre-election ads are focused on attacks. No one wants to debate, they just want to sling mud and then pretend to be completely clean.
Don't get me wrong - this is happening on both sides of the political aisle. I'm getting to the point where I am ready to vote for whichever candidate does not have any ads on between now and next Tuesday.
But I digress.
Yesterday, I had dinner out with a friend of mine, and then came home and had a long phone conversation with another. And it was great.
Dinner seemed to be going really quickly - within about half an hour of being seated, we'd already pretty much finished - and then we started talking. Really talking. And the next time I looked at my watch another hour had passed.
The same kind of thing happened on the phone call. We started out kind of covering the small details, but soon we were talking about anything and everything, and over half an hour had passed.
In each situation we talked about family. We talked about work. We talked about Halloween. We even talked about politics. But we were friendly, and respectful of each other's opinions, and it was great.
Wouldn't it be nice if more people focused on discussion, instead of argument? Maybe then we could all talk, converse, debate, and - yes - even chat, again.