I think there’s been a great loss in the standard of conversation in recent years. As our attention span has been desecrated by the advent of “have it now” and “have it all”, I’ve noticed how people can’t concentrate during a conversation.
All too frequently now, conversation will jump around aimlessly. I was having a conversation the other day with a colleague who asked me a question, which I started to answer. Something in my response caused him to think of something else which he instantly blurted out. Either his attention is so poor that his brain couldn’t trust him to hold on to that thought until I was done with what I was saying, or he was never especially interested in the conversation to begin with that he didn’t want to hear what I had to say and just wanted to drive the conversation where he wanted or hear his own voice.
Either way, the ability to focus on one thing is greatly dwindling, much to my chagrin. I’m frequently having to refocus people who wander on tangents by repeating the last thing they said that was actually on topic so that they can proceed with what they were originally saying. This “shiny thing syndrome” is awfully frustrating and also quite rude.