Young Brazilian students wanting to practice their English with native speakers. Retirees in Chicago looking for someone to talk with. Put them together and bam! Magic:
Almost every day, I read something about the ill-effects of the Internet. People are becoming obsessive, lonely, addicted narcissists, we’re told. We communicate more, but connect less. We’ve lost the ability to interact face-to-face.
Yes, there is some truth to these statements. Looking at all the language learning apps on the market today, for example, you’d think there was a drought of actual people to speak with in this world.
But I don’t buy into the pessimist’s view of technology holus bolus. For some people, the Internet and the miraculous, stigma-free mobile devices it’s spawned, are the only way they can communicate their thoughts and pursue their interests. For others free and accessible tools like Skype, Twitter and even the humble email provide invaluable opportunities to communicate with like-minded people; skills they can then use with confidence out in their “real world”, whatever that may be (and, yes, it may be online).
So when next you’re reading a devastating screed about the death of conversation, the enslavement of the human race to the dastardly iDevice and the rise of the machines, consider, too, the joy in the faces of the folk in this video.
Banter Speech & Language is owned and managed by David Kinnane, a Hanen- and LSVT LOUD-certified speech-language pathologist with post-graduate training in the Spalding Method for literacy, the Lidcombe and Camperdown Programs for stuttering, and Voicecraft for voice disorders. David is also a Certified PESL Instructor for accent modification.
David holds a Master of Speech Language Pathology from the University of Sydney, where he was a Dean’s Scholar. David is a Practising Member of Speech Pathology Australia and a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist (CPSP).