Lost in transition
But if telephone conversation does fade away, should anyone care?
Patrice Oppliger thinks so.
“You can’t help but think there are social skills being lost,’’ said Oppliger, who teaches mass communication at Boston University, including classes in interview skills where she does a unit on small talk. Many of her students are small talk-challenged, she said, and she thinks the rise of texting and decline of phone conversations have something to do with it.
“They have nothing to say; they can’t carry on a conversation,’’ she said. “I can’t remember the last time a student called me.’’
Grossman suggests the chatty, rambling conversation that she remembers from childhood may be going the way of other fading phenomena, such as wristwatches, traveler’s checks, and correction fluid.