The Buzz of Talk
Richard Hull, Director, Talk The Talk
The Coronavirus pandemic has taken its toll on us all. Many people have experienced a state of vulnerability that has never before been felt. At such times, we benefit greatly from talking to others and sharing experiences.
We have been heavily reliant on online communication platforms to be able to do this and in many instances, the regularity of contact within extended families has improved due to the slower pace of life within lockdown – the ‘Family Zoom Quiz’ becoming part and parcel of the lives of so many. I’m sure some of you have experienced the chaos of getting the scores in and announcing the winner before your 40 free minutes come to an end and you have to send another link to everyone…
With the rush to get everything into the virtual world, I’ve been asked frequently – ‘Are you going to put your workshops online?’ My answer is always the same. ‘No. We may compliment our offerings in the future with online oracy activities. We are making our workshops compliant with social distancing regulations.’ This is because, fundamentally, the buzz we get from talking to others in person will never be replicated within the virtual world.
A relative of mine bemoans her weekly visit to the supermarket. She prepares for her expedition by dousing herself in antiseptic hand wash, packing her disinfectant wipes and ‘masking up’. Each week I hear a similar story of her epic adventure, and the related stresses. But she loves it really.
This is her one chance every week to talk to someone in person other than her husband. She has a good natter with the checkout assistant and it gives her a buzz. She feels good having had that human contact. She then drives home and regales her husband with her ‘nightmare’ trip to the shops. The weekly shopping trip becomes a focal point of conversation within the household for at least a day before she begins the mental preparation required for her next outing.
Living in Wales, I am still very much under lockdown and my only venture from isolation is for the weekly shop. And I get the same buzz in the same way. This is why, when the pandemic has passed, and life begins to return to some semblance of normality, talking to others in person will be more important than ever. For the buzz we’ve missed so much.