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Are we in danger of losing the art of conversation? IELTS Writing 7-8 + 9 Band Sample Task 2 Essay Topic for students.

Are we in danger of losing the art of conversation?

The personal exchange of news and views can be very interesting and stimulating. Yet we are definitely in danger of losing the art of this kind of conversation. This decline starts in the home.

People live much busier lives than they used to do. As a result, they have much less time for what used to be regarded as the normal routines of family life. One of these routines was the family meal which gave the family the opportunity to talk to each other. Now many families do not regularly sit round a table to eat breakfast or dinner, thereby losing this conversational opportunity.

There are several reasons for this. Family members may have different schedules so that they do not all eat at the same times. Also, some family members simply eat fast food when they are hungry, rather than sit down and have a meal with the others at the set time.

Some families might still eat together, but eat round the television set rather than round the dining table or the kitchen table. Especially if they are watching a light entertainment programme, they are unlikely to engage in any proper conversation at the same time.

It seems paradoxical that the decline of conversation should occur in what can be described as the age of communication.

The modern age has acquired this description because modern technology has greatly increased methods of communication.

The introduction of the telephone in the late 1870s was the first piece of technological equipment to change our communication habits. Although it kept the voice element of conversation, it removed the bodily person-to-person element. However, you could say that the telephone actually improved the art of conversation in that it enabled people to have a conversation at a distance from each other.

You might think that the mobile phone would continue this trend. To a great extent it has. Although many older people regard mobiles simply as a means of sending a quick or urgent short communication, this is not the case with younger people. Many of them spend a long time chatting on mobiles with their friends. Also, mobiles are now being used increasingly to carry out more formal, business conversations.

The art of conversation might be alive and well if it were not for two non-vocal forms of modern communication. One of these, the email, is a result of the huge effect that computers and the Internet has had on our lives. We often choose to send an email, rather than have either a direct conversation or a telephone one with somebody. People even email colleagues sitting next to them!

The other modern communication system that has had a damaging effect on the art of conversation is texting. Texting is an offshoot of the mobile phone and many people now use texting as their preferred method of communicating.

Texting has been accused of having a deleterious effect on the language, by introducing such shortened forms of words as “pls” for “please”, and numbers and symbols for words, such as “8” for “ate”. However, it has had a much more damaging effect on the art of conversation.

People still communicate with each other. Indeed, they often do so to an even greater extent than before. However, the forms of communication now most commonly used are not conversation as we know it. That, sadly, is in danger.

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