The whole world is talking.
About what, you ask? Well, anything and everything. The statistics about people becoming less concerned with fellow beings be damned – the world around me seems more interested in everybody else than ever before. In such circumstances, the dear souls who find engaging in small talk tedious have never had it so hard.
So, I am one of the most keep-to-myself people you may find. While that may seem odd, considering how I talk about all and sundry here at P&P, it is the truth. I am a talkathon with Mum, R and the best girlfriend. The rest usually label me as the sweet introvert. Well, at least I hope the ‘sweet’ comes in. For ‘attitude’ is another ‘in’ descriptor for people like me.
One of my life’s biggest contradictions is how I adore public speaking. There is something magical about being up on the podium, talking nineteen to the dozen about a subject you are passionate about. Or delivering a presentation on *insert subject here*. But when it comes to replicating the err, charm, in social circles – more often than not, I don’t enjoy it. There seems to be no dearth of reasons I can cite for not indulging in lunch-table chatter, bay banter or pretend-you-are-enjoying-the-party merriment. A smile seems sufficient to me on most occasions.
Sometimes I feel I have missed a generation. Have I grown too ancient? Why do I not enjoy the constant connectivity of the BBMs and the WhatsApps of the world? Why do I relish the shock on people’s faces when they find out I am on neither? Why do I detest the Long Abuse List that has something for every situation and cringe when people around me use these once ‘uncool’ err, multilingual adjectives, so fluently in speech? At the risk of being labelled a prude, I trudge along a path where on most days I find very few fellow travellers.
“Live and let live.” says R.
Indeed, that’s what I do. It would all be very well if others would do the same. They are free to indulge in as much small talk as they please. When I am not harming my skin or theirs, why can I not be free to dive into my computer screen? Or my books? Somewhere down the line, that statistic about individuality is starting to make sense. I often get the uncanny feeling that this increased need for gregariousness stems from paranoia. At some level, the reliance on virtual connectivity, the constant need for reassurance/appreciation and the urgency to appear uber-cool is making it difficult for most to sit quietly by the window and look at rain. Perhaps, we are increasingly afraid of our own thoughts. Perhaps, we prefer filling in all empty spaces with blah.
Plus, who says I don’t talk? For all we know, it could be a sound-frequency mismatch error.