A few years ago I was suffering from the horrible banter problem. It seemed that everyone I knew, including some of my closest friends, had suddenly found it impossible to sit around and get it out without building up this giant firewall of irony and sarcasm. Now, I wasn't hoping for raw, naked emotional splatter-talk (never), but it seemed increasingly difficult to just sit into the night and just ramble about "things."
Now I'm at law school and the crowd of people I'm spending my time with is much younger. Most are only a year or two out of college. I have to tell you, Adina, if you can get these kids away from their academic or professional ambition topics, they can go all night. i believe its because they haven't lost that "world is new" feeling. It may also be extended "summer camp syndrome," where you loosen up with people better, because you know you'll be leaving soon.
I'm not sure. I personally blame Seinfeld for the banter plague that swept my generation for years. Maybe his dread influence is finlly wearing off. Also, I think the proliferation of stupid late night talk shows is a good sign. I mean, c'mon, we deify Conan O'Brien and Jon Stewart? For what? Because they're talk show host that don't suck. Just remember though: They're still talk show hosts and talk shows will always exist as long as people watch them. Which is so sad.