Everywhere, at all times, in mostly industrialized countries with populations bent on riding the technological bomb to its undetermined destination, conversations are happening in back rooms. These are not the sort of back rooms littered on black and white film tape or etched into the docile minds of the media hungry — there are not the back rooms of gangsters or card sharks. These rooms are everywhere and penetrate everything, and in these rooms conversations are taking place with no context. Mobile devices and computers hide these rooms from public view and mute these conversations to only the participants; I don’t know why, I don’t know the reason, but I know the consequence. Conversations are being moved to these back rooms, these automated screens on these mobile devices, and those who rant against this movement are deemed “out of the times” or “technology laggards”. We were all once benefactors of great conversation: and then the mob turned on us, calling anyone who listened in to look for truth or colloquial language damning names, like “eaves-dropper” or “busy-body”.
And so, we, the only species on Earth with the ability to speak, have tucked away and hoarded our conversations, translating them into computer code. We’ve traded the timbre of a bellowing for the hollow thud of a thumb against glass; we’ve given language to the computers, forking over all the meat while we humans scrape the bone for satisfaction. The human population emaciates itself in the name of technological progress and wonders why individuals feel so alienated, isolated, and confused.
We need conversation. Not the emotionless, self-absorbed conversation text messaging and chat rooms so easily supply, but conversation that fills halls with laughter or corners with despair. And so I hold the mirror up and show how truly emaciated conversation, and humanity, has become.
This is a conversation between a brother and a sister in a back room somewhere between the keyboard and the cell phone.