Common Grounds


Image courtesy “paul goes pop”

I was walking down the hall in my office the other day and found two coworkers engrossed in a discussion about their iPhones. They were comparing apps and enthusiastically discussing Dragon Dictation, Google Maps and a barcode scanner app. What was really shocking is that while one of them is a big techy, the other one was definitely not. But they both were excitedly talking about their smartphones, and comparing the iPhone to the Droid, etc.

Afterward, I made an offhand comment that smartphones have become the new “watercooler” topic. My techier coworker responded, “Well, yea. We all DVR everything, so it’s not like we can sit around and discuss shows the next day.”

Funny, but oddly true. The common ground we all used to have was television, but as time shifting and DVRs become as automatic as having a television at all, and as viewing habits switch to Hulu, youtube, etc., we’re no longer on the same pop culture page. You can’t go into work and excitedly discuss last night’s “Lost”, because¬†two people DVR’d it but didn’t watch yet, one person paused and didn’t finish it, and¬†three people plan on catching it on Hulu over the weekend.

But we can all find common ground in technology.

Do you agree? Is technology the new universal language of small talk the way radio and TV used to be? Share your thoughts below!

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4 replies


  1. Mike Cane
  2. topsy_top20k
  3. Allistair Lee
  4. Jennifer Roland