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The Data Dump

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 The Data Dump

The Data Dump - Sassy Townhouse Living

Have you ever been data dumped? No, not a system data dump, but rather a data dump of a very different kind. The conversation data dump! 

Well, I have on many an occasion and it’s not pretty folks. 

Technically speaking, a data dump is, “a large amount of data transferred from one system or location to another”. And no, I’m talking about Data taking a dump! Using this analogy is a perfect fit when it comes to conversations. I’m talking about the type of conversations that are strictly directed one way. You know, the ones where you hardly say anything and the other person does all the talking. And sometimes, they can seem endless. Unfortunately, I’ve had my share of them and it’s my fault for allowing them to happen. 

I’m the type of person that is simply too polite to say anything or interrupt the conversational flow. There have been times when I’ve tried to interject a personal point of view into them only to fail miserably. It’s then I get completely disheartened and give up. Now, I understand when a person has a lot to share, and they data-dump all over you. That’s fine – but when the dump is over and they are still going on and on – that’s where I have the issue. I data dump too, but when I’m done and come up for air, I realize the other person’s not engaged and prompt them with questions about their day, or ask what’s new – anything to get them involved in the conversation. 

By nature, conversations are supposed to be two-way. A symbiotic flow of thoughts and emotions.  It’s especially disheartening when it’s constant and almost seems purposeful. Being a good listener is a great skill for sure, but learning how to be a skilled “engager” is equally as important. 

With the advent of social media, this seems to be even more prevalent. Facebook is the perfect example of this, but that’s OK and is expected. We expect folks to focus on their lives, images, meals, vacations, etc. but when you are actively engaged in a conversation it’s the last thing you expect. You can’t really call it a conversation if someone is data bombing you! 

There were times that seemed surreal and even embarrassing when you interject a personal comment into the conversation and it’s completely ignored as if you weren’t there! Now, what is up with that? Can someone be so myopic they could glaze completely over a personal statement as if it slipped off into the cold dead of night? Talk about being self-absorbed! 

The way I figured it is you can handle these data dumps in one of two ways – you can choose to continue to be ignored and lifelessly stand there absorbing the data and pray it ends soon, or you can politely excuse yourself from the conversation. As bleak as these two choices are, they seem to be the only way to handle them. As I stated, trying to actively engage in the conversation is fruitless so you are wasting your time trying. 

One thing is for sure – I head for the hills when I can foresee a data dump heading my way. Let’s face it – sometimes talking to yourself is the best conversation you are going to have. And if you get caught up in one, play some pretty music in your head because it’s going to be a long ride! 

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18 Comments

  1. You took me on a ride about something different than what I thought when I first arrived and read the title. Thanks for the great article. Data Dump- Ha, this could be a new saying when this kind of conversation is happening…excuse me, you are data dumping on me and I either have to go now or slow down and let’s have a conversation. Have a great day today Carolann.

  2. Yes! Here in Silicon Valley we used to call it a “core dump”…but in a way, I kind of like being trusted enough to hear this stuff. But only in person. Not on social sites.

  3. Oh my, sometimes being on the receiving end of the data dump can be so uncomfortable. I am getting pretty good about either being a good listener or turning the direction of the conversation, if needed in person but online it is still a work in progress.

  4. I soooo needed to read this today. I have several data dumpers in my life and find myself getting more and more resentful at their complete self absorption and lack of awareness. The other day, I motioned for my husband to yell my name from the next room so I could make a hurried excuse to get off the phone. I think you’re right, excusing yourself from the conversation is really the only thing that works because there’s no way to change the other person’s behavior.

  5. Data dumps filled with toxic and hateful thoughts (though not directed at me) are pretty much the only conversations I have with much of my extended family. I’ve consciously gotten out of the dumping business; we rarely talk now, so they rarely dump in my direction. It’s better for us all.

  6. Today was the exact day I needed to read this post! I need to start getting rid of the Data Dumpers in my life!

  7. I think some people are so myopic and self-absorbed that they are like. I tend to avoid those type of people. Great post.

  8. Oh wow Lisa, that sounds great honestly. Folks like that are just toxic and don’t add value to our lives. Sounds like you are in the right direction for sure! Thanks much for stopping by and have a great weekend!

  9. I have to laugh that that Angela it’s so funny I do that too…I even fake rang my cell once to get out of a call like that LOL. I just don’t understand why folks are so blind to their behaviour? They will never change either…once a dumper…always a dumper lol. Always good hearing from you my friend!

  10. Oh yes listening is great skill for sure, but conversations overall…need to be shared between two people. I think those data dumpers can just be outright selfish! Thanks much for stopping by and have a great weekend!

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