Do you remember when it was easy to find out a little about people and their tastes and preferences? When you’d be invited to someone’s place for dinner for the first time and be left alone while the hosts were in the kitchen putting the finishing touches to the cooking.
You naturally and nonchalantly flipped through their LP collection, or a little later their CD collection happily discovering that they were Cat Steven’s fans too . Then cast an eye on the books on their bookshelf to get an idea of their literary tastes. Orwell, Adams, Hemingway, Rankin, Clavell. Yes, conversation starters now at the ready. Then of course the framed family photos all neatly on display, with only a mere hint of dust on the tops of the frames. Trying to calculate who was whose son, daughter, sister and parents.
With all the information you collected while your hosts chopped the parsley and carved the roast, you had everything you needed to keep the dinner conversation ticking along for hours and hours.
But then the new discreet digital age hit, and now in a similar situation, you are left high and dry. What do you do now? Yell from the living room to the kitchen,’ Hey, what’s the password on your iMac?’ Or do you just tap the space bar to see if you get lucky and find they have left the computer logged on? Perhaps you quietly open the laptop that was inadvertently left sitting on the coffee table and find that it is still logged in to their online banking? Ooops!
With not a book, LP, CD or photo in sight, you really are going to be ‘dead meat’ for dinner conversation. So where do you start?
‘Oh, I notice you bank with Federal. So do we?