‘never talk to strangers’.

I never understood that phrase, I find it silly. Yes I understand the idea for the kids, don’t talk to creepy people who come up to you in the street especially if they want to sell you broadband or a pet donkey.

Surely though everyone is a stranger before you get to know them? If you followed that statement to the word you’d never talk to anybody. You’d be sat in some armchair (presumably brought online and not in a shop with person interaction) twiddling your thumbs all day or reading a book. Actually that does sound quite peaceful.

It’s often criticised that in modern society the art of conversation is dying out with advancement in technology. Is this a bad thing? I get a tad nervous when having to make a one on one conversation but it doesn’t stop me. Are we really losing the art of talking? Quite possibly the exact opposite maybe over time our conversations are simply becoming broader than the person sat next to us in the pub. I remember a few years back at home my mother said ‘you’re being very anti social’ (dunno why since it was only us two in the room) to which I cheekily replied ‘Well I’m currently talking to 9 people while you talk to one’.

I love to talk as you can probably tell. I like peace and quiet too but language is a wonderful thing and often I love talking to strangers. Communication is one of the world-wide web’s most used features. Now more than ever we have the ability to talk in an instant to someone on the other side of the world and there’s so much we can learn, both academically and personally. With the use of apps like Kik, Whatsapp, Omegle and even possibly tinder we can interact and form friendships, maybe even possibly find a future soul mate. Well maybe.

One of these examples is a chat group that I have known now for at least 7 years now. Imagine that, 7 years now I’ve spoken to these same 9 people each day. We all met on a public forum (the public part being very important when it does come to knowing strangers safely online) and from then we formed a MSN (RIP MSN) chat group that is still going today. There’s so much we talk, reference and laugh about to each other yet we have never met face to face. They’ve given me good advice and companionship over them years which I’m very thankful for. We’re planning to meet up in the summer for the first time hopefully.

I know there are also creepy people online as well. Not everybody has an interest in polite conversation and jokes. There’s enough articles online that look into how one sex can be rude or obnoxious to another (This article of Gweneth Bateman being a favourite). I’d hope this wouldn’t deter people off though and that over time people will grow respect and decency similar to that being on the street.

I guess what I’m trying to say is if you’re in a public area or site don’t be afraid to start a conversation with someone new if you feel like it. After all who knows where it could lead.

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