Table Talk: 5 Dinner Conversation Topics That Will Impress “Grown Ups”
Entering the working world means you’re going to have to endure a lot of conversations with people of higher authority. You know the type—a bunch of fancy degrees, wealth, status, blah blah blah. While personally I could give a rat’s ass about impressing people, I think it’s important for members of this generation to show our intelligence rather than confirm our alleged ignorance.
It seems that the general consensus is that our generation can’t hold a conversation that isn’t via text message or without stopping to check Instagram—which frankly, is a load of bullshit. Society seems to confuse our generation with younger generations. Anyone born in the 1990’s didn’t grow up in the age of the iPhone.
The most technologically advanced toy I had as a child was a Tamagotchi. My knowledge of the internet was AOL dial up, and I didn’t have unlimited texting until I was nearly 17-years-old—which means my formative years were spent talking to people, learning social skills, expressing my emotion with my words not my Facebook status.
We saw the progression of technology advance but we weren’t born into it. We had to learn it with the rest of the world. Perhaps that scares people—perhaps it’s intimidating to accept the fact that this generation of recent college graduates has the perfect hybrid of knowledge. We can command the Internet behind a computer screen but we can also command a room full of people.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the younger generations are pretty screwed when it comes to interpersonal skills but that’s not really our issue. We know how to hold our own. I’ll be honest, I’m not particularly intelligent in the conventional sense—I just know a little bit about everything and that’s really all you need.
If you want to disprove any negative views one may have given your age or what generation you belong to—stick to these topics of conversations and show these straight-laced-old-timers a thing or two.
My roommate in college was an Art History major so I know what it sounds like when someone has genuine and thorough knowledge of art (which is no easy task). I’m not suggesting that you know everything there is to know but try and have basic knowledge of a few artists or famous paintings. Pretentious old people love to bring up things that they think you won’t know anything about—so be prepared. As a side note, absolutely pronounce the name of any famous artist correctly—unfortunately someone will discount you as uneducated if you say, “DE-GIS” instead of “DE-GAH” (spelt Degas).
I absolutely love talking to people who have extensive movie knowledge. In fact, I actually tend to trust someone more if they have good taste in film. With our generation’s obsession with Netflix and ability to watch free movies online with ease, there’s no excuse not to know a thing or two about the classics. I love romantic comedies and anything Judd Apatow has his name on as much as the next girl, but those aren’t exactly critically acclaimed movies. Watch a few classics—“Gone With The Wind”, “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”, “The Godfather”, “Citizen Kane”, “Casablanca”—having knowledge of these films and others of the sort will prove that you’re in touch with generations past and that your attention can be kept by more than just hot actors and mediocre plots.
Your College Major
Even if you didn’t continue toward higher education, a Bachelor’s Degree is a still a representation of 4-years-worth of knowledge. I myself majored in psychology and while I’m not currently using my degree, I still know a great deal about the subject. Consider yourself an expert in whatever you majored in and use it to your advantage. If someone happens to asks why you didn’t enter a career that utilized your degree (which happens to me often) feel free to use my token response “I chose my major based on interest and over the years my interests lead me elsewhere—I still have a great deal of respect for the field, but it simply wasn’t for me.”
I know I stated earlier that we should disprove our generation’s fixation on technology, but we can’t simply ignore it. Don’t bring up how many “likes” your selfie got at the dinner table but by all means start a conversation about the amazing advances members of our generation are bringing to the table. I mean sure, Instagram has become an entirely superficial, idealized, transparent means of social media but let’s not forget that Kevin Systrom (the inventor of the app) is 30-years-old. People not much older than us pioneered Tinder, Snapchat, Facebook—all of these things that have become a part of everyday life. That’s impressive and it goes to show that you don’t need to be born into a legacy to create your own. Our generation is known for their ability to avoid getting real jobs and coming up with ones we actually want.
Despite what people may think, there is not equality in this country and it is the duty of our generation to shine light on certain issues that have been clouded by old-school-thinking. Be steadfast in your beliefs. Don’t let older generations intimidate you. If you think things like the legalization of marijuana and gay marriage should be brought to the forefront of everyday conversation then say something about it—do something about it. Game recognizes game and anyone of higher authority will be impressed (regardless of their beliefs) by your passion. If nothing else, we are one of the most liberal and accepting generations this country has seen since The Vietnam War protests. There is strength in numbers. Remember that.
Melissa Copelton | News Cult