Before I got a smart phone, I used to wander around talking to people all the time. I began to fall out of this habit during my mid 20s and getting my first iPhone was the nail in the coffin. Now I’m more likely to go out of my way to avoid talking to people than I am to start a conversation with a stranger.
This evening I was sitting on a train from Manchester to Cambridge, working on my forthcoming book about platform capitalism when someone tried to start talking to me. It turns out he was a co-founder of a small fitness platform startup and we had the most thought provoking conversation about exactly what I’d been writing about in the abstract only minutes earlier.
It was a reminder of why conversations undertaken at random can be so welcome and it left me resolving to make more of an effort to get into conversations, in the way that used to come relatively naturally to me yet now leaves me feeling at least initially stilted.