Whatever happened to "polite" conversation. You remember that, don't you? It happened in the long ago and the far away. For those of you too young to recall, I can assure you it's not just another urban myth, there was a time when people were actually interested in the lives of others.
In times gone by when taking a promenade on a Sunday afternoon, gentlemen would tip their hats at passing acquaintances. The ladies would nod or wave. Although this may seem a bit too Victorian, until very recently people did seem more interested in others.
If, for social motives, you met with others for an occasion (cocktails, lunch, dinner, etc.), one did, indeed, indulge in the art of CONVERSATION. Others were actually happy to see you and they asked you about what was going on in your life. People exchanged information and actually took turns talking. They acknowledged what was being said and responded to it. The participants gave "equal" time to the topics discussed for fear of seeming too egocentric.
Fast forward to the the ME Era. The "let's get together" so I can tell you all about ME society. The "I'm so cool or clever or interesting" generation that I don't really give a damn about what's going on in your dismal existence but I'll grace your world with my superior experiences and offer you a reason to live. The "I don't have to follow any social courtesies" club because what I have to say is far more interesting (to ME) than anything you have to say.
I call it the "Age of the Monologue." Suddenly, everyone has the oratory aspirations of Fidel Castro (lol). People no longer desire to communicate with others of their species for social or educational purposes - they now require an audience.
Gone are the days when folks sat around shootin' the bull. Many in the ME Era believe that they have been blessed with the gift of gab and that each time they speak the masses are spellbound. They spend so much time pacifying every id impulse that they don't even feign interest in the rest of us. They are too self-absorbed to realize that there are still some people on Planet Earth (hello??!!) that are mindful of making others uncomfortable so don't call these bores on their quest to sate their own demand for attention.
So the next time you are thinking of "holding court" remember that there is a tool (and open source at that) in the Age of the Monologue that accommodates circumstances such as these - it is called "You Tube." You can upload your soliloquy for all of cyberspace to tune into, while I can gently, politely turn you off.