Monday, April 11, 2016

Who are they talking to?

By now, I think I have mentioned that my son is a talker enough times that I will have to apologize to him when he turns into a teenager for labeling him that way. (I'm not wrong, by the way, he is a talker, I think I have just hit the limit of pointing it out.)

I have always thought of my son as a chatty kid, even after I chaperoned a class trip of his and heard some of the other children talk so much that they barely paused for breath. By comparison my son is actually quite normal in the amount he talks, but since I don't have all those children living in my house with me for constant comparison, he gets labeled as a talker.

But even he has paused his ongoing monologues long enough to notice that there are a lot of people talking out loud in public.

The first time he pointed it out to me, we were in a grocery store. He wanted to know why the woman in the aisle with us was talking to herself, and I pointed out that she was on the phone and using her earbuds. Since then, he points out these people to me with more frequency and often asks me: Who are all those people talking to?

The short answer is that I don't know, but as I accidentally eavesdrop on their conversations, I realize that they are just trying to catch up with family and friends, albeit in an incredibly boring way many people are just narrating their way through the grocery store as their friends are stuck listening to them. (Unless the friend is narrating their way through a different store and this is some sort of weird game I don't know about.)

So who are we talking to? Well, it depends on your age. Researchers have found that while young men call more friends, they are having shorter conversations. And women tend to drop fewer friends over their lifespans so they have more friends to call and keep up with. Both genders tend to call fewer people as they get older.

I, for one, try to stay off the phone on the weekends, considering how much time I spend listening to people on the phone during my work week. Besides, when I have somehow convinced my son to go out and do chores with me, there is no one I would rather have talking to me than him.

Who do you spend a lot of your free time talking to? Tell me in the comments.

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