As of 2012, over 71 percent of homes were wired for the internet; and by the end of that year nearly 50 percent of all Americans were using mobile devices daily. This amounts to 154 million people with instant access to communication and information at any given moment, and at least 220 million with the same capability within minutes. Though it is difficult to knock such revolutionary technology, there has to be some sort of negative trade off. Despite the positive aspects, there is always a downside to any type of technological change. In terms of the web, especially with the advent of mobile devices, genuine social interaction, and even intelligent conversation online, has suffered for many Americans. We have grown so accustomed to instantly getting what we want whenever, and wherever, we want it that we are no longer stopping and taking in the “little things” that used to matter. Despite communicating more regularly with friends and family, it seems that finding deep, intelligent conversation online, or face to face, is becoming more difficult. After all, when you find yourself having a real, flesh and blood conversation, it is rare to go more than 30 seconds before one party is sticking his or her nose into a cell phone. So what are the options for finding intelligent conversation online? While it may seem ironic, websites have been popping up for people looking for intelligent online conversation. These website include chat rooms where people can discuss a range of heady topics from classic philosophy to technology. Whether or not chatting with strangers can satisfy those who crave intelligent online conversation, it may be their best hope at the moment. In fact, with the inescapable distraction of mobile devices, “intelligent conversation” websites might be the only option for any type of deep, intelligent conversation on, or off, the web.
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