The 'snow globe' theory explains why all your conversations feel off at the moment.

Do your conversations feel off? Stifled? A little... lacklustre? 

Or do you feel like no one is really listening to you?

Turns out there's an explanation for why so many people have lost the art of conversation and it comes down to the snow globe theory. 

The world of social media has given us new forms of communication including texting, emails, voice notes and posts — meaning we've been able to scale down how often we interact with other people IRL.

In their Netflix special, Mae Martin: SAP, Canadian comedian Mae Martin suggested that our brains are rooms and that every experience we have is a snow globe. 

"This is a little abstract, but don't you think that, in a way, our brains and our minds are like our rooms, and we furnish our minds with experiences that we collect to then build what we think of as our identity and our selves?" they ask. 

"I always visualise every experience that we collect as like a little novelty snow globe. We're just going around being like, 'One time I saw Antonio Banderas at the airport. Yes, I did. And I'm myself. And no one else is me.'"

Watch a snippet of Mae Martin talking about snowglobes. Post continues after video. 

Video via Netflix.

Martin elaborates on the theory further, adding that "all human interaction is just basically taking turns showing each other our snow globes."

"Someone will be showing you their snow globe, and you're trying to be a good listener. It's like a story about a party they went to five years ago, and you're like, 'Yes, and you are you as well. How wonderful to be yourself as well'," Martin continues. 


"But the whole time, your eyes are just darting to your own shelf — a hundred per cent, the whole time. You're like 'Hmmm. Yes. No. Yes,' waiting for your moment to be like, 'And me as well! I have one!'"

Listen to Mamamia Out Loud for more on the snow globe theory. Post continues after video. 

Communication is split into two forms: synchronous which is the exchange of information in real time (AKA face-to-face) and asynchronous which is when someone communicates not in real-time so it could be through a letter or text message (AKA not face to face). 

Thanks to social media, asynchronous communication has changed how we speak to others so it might feel like no one is actually really listening, writes clinical psychologist Dipti Tait.

"Whether it's performative point-scoring, people talking over one another, or just blanking, it feels that no one is really listening to one another anymore and, with that, we are losing nuance and enrichment in our lives, and compounding feelings of isolation, even in the company of others," Tait says.

As Jessie Stephens adds on Mamamia Out Loud, our society has become "so intolerant of silence".

"I've found this with my brothers — I become quite dominating because I take on the mental load of the whole conversation so with any silence, I fill it," she says.

"But it means there are people you never get to know."

So perhaps in future conversations, we need to stop mining our own snow globes and let some else show theirs.

Feature Image: Netflix.

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