BUXTON — People are writing more than they have before – they are texting, tweeting and using many other forms of social media – but they are not actually conversing with each other.

They feel they can say whatever they are thinking of when they are thinking it only if they are not face to face. Once they are together, it is dead silence. Verbal communication is important, and it is not being used as it should be.

It seems like there needs to be a distance between people for there to be an actual conversation. Because of this, the current young generation has a handicap: They do not know how to start a conversation with someone they do not know.

Conversations consist of a few words, followed by an awkward silence that is broken by a few more words and then more silence. Verbal communication allows you to express your wants and needs using not only your voice, but your expressions and body language. Reading social cues is a part of verbal communication that cannot be fully replicated using emojis.

Someone may say that they have myriad friends online, but if they met them in real life would they be able to talk to them? Do they really know them? Understand them? Are they really who they say they are, or are they like a stalker from a movie who lives in his parents’ cellar?

Being able to speak to teachers and professors is important. Teachers are best able to judge a student’s truthfulness or sincerity during a verbal interaction. I know I can express myself better, prepare my arguments better, when I pick up on the nuances found in verbal communication.

If I email a request to a teacher, I will probably receive a “yes” or “no” answer.

If I speak to them rather than writing to them, I can get a better feel for what their expectations are and can work through an argument or debate the issue. This will give me a better chance for a positive outcome – or, at the very least, a compromise that might not happen through an email exchange.

There are also many jobs that require good verbal communication skills that cannot be learned while on social media. Retail, food service and medical workers as well as supervisors and managers need to be able to communicate verbally. It can be more than the words being spoken; being able to read someone’s body language helps when one is trying to show good customer service.

The written word can be interpreted in different ways, so a manager should be able to express themselves verbally to be sure their employees understand what is expected of them. Relying strictly on the written word can lead to failure. Verbal communication is very important – has anyone tried to text their doctor their symptoms?

Having a face-to-face conversation is, I believe, much better than having one over a phone. I understand what it means when my mother’s eyes are bugging out of her head or when she says just my name in that slightly exasperated tone. This is all part of verbal communications. I am also pretty good at judging the timing of a hug to bring her back off the cliff’s edge!

One of the best parts of large family gatherings is the laughing, joking and talking that go on. People are talking and listening to each other. If I ever have children, I want them to be able to tell by a look or a tone exactly where they stand and have the ability to advocate for themselves through any means of verbal communication they can find.

I do not think you should be allowed to use a cellphone when you’re with another person. It’s rude when someone is on their phone while I am trying to talk to them. I hide my girlfriend’s phone when we are sitting on the couch talking or watching a movie because I do not want to be that stereotypical couple texting each other while sitting together.

People will converse only with the people they already know, which makes it difficult to meet and get to know new people. I appreciate the nuances of sarcasm and can be quite good at it myself, but it cannot be expressed well in writing unless you understand the person writing to you.

Every person will bring in a new experience – and maybe some sarcasm – which can make life a little more interesting. People need to get past the fear of talking to others, get out of their comfort zone and opt for verbal communication.