I tend to fall asleep when people engage in small talk for too long. I found out why after reading this article in Scientific American Mind: "Feeling down? Having a stimulating conversation might help. Researchers at the University of Arizona and Washington University in St. Louis used recording devices to track the conversations of 79 students over the course of four days. They then counted the conversations and determined how many were superficial versus substantive, based on whether the information exchanged was banal (“What do you have there? Pop corn?”) or meaningful (“She fell in love with your dad? So, did they get divorced soon after?”). CONCLUSION: The happiest subjects participated in a third as much small talk and had twice as many in-depth conversations as the most unhappy participants.