As John, 9V1VV, says in his comment to my other post in this blog, conversations are seldom possible on the radio nowadays. Of course, we talk about conversation on CW. I have been concerned about this for a long time. What has made amateur radio changed this way?
There must be two aspects defining amateur hams' behaviour. The external as well as internal factor. Both factors might be related each other as follows. One of the major external factors is how busy a ham should be due to the other routine activities. He is too busy, as always excused for their inactivity, to spend time for conversation. The work load might not have been changed at all. It could not be the reason. Now there are more and more hams retired who could spend more time for ham radio. If his busyness might be related with this lower activity for conversations on the air, it is an issue of choice. He might spend more time for the other hobbies or activities than ham radio. In this respect, it could be related with the internal factor.
Lack of proficience of code reception, in CW communication, could be another point. Since the licence exams won't impose this ability everywhere for now, this could limit the licensee for conversational ability. If the licensee does any SWL acivity before getting on the air by himself, he might enjoy the vast world of communication. However, such a new comer is really exceptional. To brush up reception ability with SWL etc may be from their motivation, again, another factor in mind.
There are less numbers of elmers of CW communication for the beginners in the world. Or they are hidden to the beginners, if the latter won't seek for their elmers. Most beginners learn how to QSO in the internet etc but seldom take lessons from elmers. Conversing on CW requires much skill and is hardly learned in the internet. CD practise won't teach how to do in a on going real conversation. It won't emphasize how important it is to learn head copy for fluent conversation. It rather requires the beginner to write down what he copies. So little chance for the beginners to meet possible elmers could be attributed to lack of the beginners' motivation, another internal issue.
Those without motivation for real communication are lead to contesting or DXing only. We should not quetion about those latter ways of enjoyment. Very few tell the beginners how to reach the ability of conversation on CW. That is the problem.