if you’ve followed this blog for a while, you’re well aware of my small talk deficiency. after a couple of minutes, my ability to engage someone in conversation quickly expires to the point of a milk carton in a college student’s refrigerator. (see my previous posts, adventures in small talk episode 1 and adventures in small talk episode 2.)
and while this is a skill that i’ve never really mastered at any point in my life, i feel like social media has cause what little ability was there to atrophy quickly. in fact, if anything, it’s really starting to mess with my head in real life.
i’m finding that i RT and comment a little too much in real life interactions.
a few months ago at a lacrosse tournament my oldest son was playing in, i overheard two parents talking about the day’s schedule.
“so when is our next game?” asked a mom.
“i’m not sure. i think the schedule steve emailed said that we have games ’til three today,” replied one dad.
they seemed content with that information, and turned to watch the game.
i like information, and i was equipped for that day. i had the schedule loaded on my phone so that i could refer to it when needed. so completely unsolicited, i offered a comment to their real life verbal “post.”
“the next game’s at 10, then if we win that one, we play at 1.”
“thanks,” the dad responded.
and then here’s where i became that guy who posts a comment to a FB post or tweets a response that is completely unsolicited.
“and tomorrow we play at 8am, which means we’ll have to get here by 7am.” and then i rambled on about how early that was, and what time we would have to leave to get there and how i didn’t know if i could get my son out of bed that early.
both of them nodded, one even let out, “oh, okay.”
i just became the guy who jumps in a conversation he wasn’t invited to and then vomits. i gave too much information—not in an embarrassing way, but in an unsolicited, no one really asked way.
these were people who were parents from my son’s team, but total strangers to me.
after a while, i began to feel really awkward.
i made up some reason why i needed to step away. “i need to go check on something,” i mumbled and walked away.
the inner monologue was deafening. it was a chris farley moment from the classic SNL skit when he interviews different celebrities and asks them lame questions. and when he realizes it’s lame, he hits himself in the head and declares what an idiot he is.
it’s so easy to comment, reply or RT. but perhaps it’s a little too easy. after all, the world doesn’t need my comment on every thing happening.
sometimes i just need to keep my mouth shut.
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