Keeping Up in Conversation

How often have you heard a quote from “The Office” this month? How ’bout a quote from “Parks and Rec”? If you lead any kind of social life you have probably heard at least one. Quotes from hit shows, songs lyrics and even literary references are used in conversation all the time. Sometimes we don’t even realize we’re doing it. Meme references and references to the long lost, but still loved, Vine have become a part of daily conversation and there’s not really much we can do to stop it.

Does it really even need to be stopped?

We have information from all over the world at the beck and call of our fingertips whether it be via our phones, our remote, our laptop or any other device the 21st century has come up with. Something could happen in any part of the world and as long as there is someone connected to the internet nearby, it usually isn’t long until someone on the other side of the world is hashtagging and tweeting and posting and….you get the idea.

Back to the conversation about conversation — Imagine coming into this world having not heard or even seen a tv or song before. The social cues and references missed in conversation would be innumerable. We just can’t help using them in conversation and there’s not too much wrong with that really.

BUT imagine coming into a room having not heard the inside jokes or stories shared between a group of friends that you weren’t a part of. Isn’t that the same thing? You’re left out if you haven’t seen a certain show enough to quote it or memorized all the lyrics to a song “everyone” knows. You’re left out if you weren’t there when Timmy got xyz’s autograph and they spelled his name wrong or if you weren’t there when Susie was randomly interviewed at the Derby.

Okay…so what? Everyone has been in that situation at some point in their life.

The “so what?” is where general manners come into play. Although it is completely acceptable to allude to pieces of culture of almost any medium, it is actually considered rude to flood group conversations with topics that exclude people. Of course there are always going to be references that not everyone gets and there is nothing wrong with that but it is important to be aware of your audience.

The “take home” from this post is simply this: whether you’re the person coming into a new group or the person already in a group, remember to include people in conversation. It’s very taxing to be well “cultured” and not everyone has seen that video of the kid who invented The Floss. Don’t be that person constantly referencing things no one has heard of or telling jokes you heard in Twitter claiming them as your own. Instead, try to be original in your conversation.

Also, if any of you can do The Floss, consider me very jealous. No matter how much I try, I always end up spinning in circles bringing it aroundddd town.

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