By: Dwayne Parton

The Beauty of Interaction

The last few days have really felt good. They have been full of conversation and wonderful people. My typical day is not like that and I often forget how meeting people can be so refreshing. I’m a nerd, so I stare at the computer 80% of the time I’m at work. The other 20% is me spinning in the chair, going to lunch, or going to get coffee. I work with wonderful people but I often space out or leave before ever really engaging in a conversation. It’s not that I don’t want to talk, it’s that I’m thinking.

The last couple of days have been a little different. Bryson City is coming to life. People are vacationing and coming into our new shop on main street. Usually, I don’t get to talk to the customers. It’s overwhelming when there are 2-3 of us working on the floor, especially in our little shop. I just keep working on the computer, unless I’m the only one there. But lately, I have had the opportunity to take care of several.

Beep Beep. Someone just walked in the door. I stop what I’m doing. Doesn’t matter where I am in the project. “Hey, How are you!” I ask the customer. “Is there anything I can help you find.” You can tell in an instant if they want to talk or not. Either way is fine. It’s the ones who want to talk that really make my day though. “What brought you to Bryson City?” I ask them. They tell me and we begin our conversation. They have been most excellent.

I’ve forgotten how life giving this is. To meet someone new, to hear about their adventures, and to step away from the Facebook chatter. To actually engage in a conversation. Making eye contact. Shaking hands. Engaging. That can not be replaced by a computer. It’s brought me so much joy, and reminded me how wonderful living is.

Now, I’m not bashing computers. I love them. I love the internet. That’s why I build websites. We can use them to keep up with a lot of people. But we don’t get hear the tone in their voice, see their quirks, or feel the grip of their handshake. That is a blessing to true interaction. I forget how much I need that. I’m amazed at how quickly I’ve forgotten. So I’m writing this post, to remind myself to ask someone about their day, to not get sucked into my computer screen, and to remember how wonderful interacting is.