By making the Internet as weightless and as frictionless as possible, we made our lives easier. But now, the whole world is suffering the consequences, says Jaron Lanier.

Yes, we all do these things, but they can suck the life from your conversations, says sound consultant Julian Treasure. Read this and strengthen your gift of gab.

Illustration by Dawn Kim/TED | ideas.ted.com

Timothy Doner started teaching himself to speak in other languages when he was 13, and was quickly hailed as a prodigy for his linguistic proficiency. But as he soon realized, there’s more to fluency than being able to barter over kebabs in Arabic or order from a menu in Hindi.