There's a particular episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation ("Starship Mine") where Data, keen to master all the different aspects of being human, has to try and learn the art of "small talk" - starting or maintaining a dialogue with someone with talk on various different topics. Or, as Data puts it himself:
"...I am attempting to fill a silent moment with non-relevant conversation."
Now, I'm particularly lousy at small talk. I'm reliably informed that a lot of us introverts are. We have to work hard at it! So I tried a little experiment recently. For an hour or so I simply turned off the small talk. If anyone asked me a direct question, I answered it (I wasn't rude). But I left the silences unfilled.
Boy, was it quiet! But it was an interesting exercise... and it got me thinking...
Matthew 12:36 (NIV)
But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.