Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Communication Age

In a lot of ways, I think I knew this was coming. 

Communication has almost always been a passion for me. I wanted an easier way to write, and we got word processors. I wanted to be able to reach out to people, we got email. Social media feigns connectedness but also provides a platform for us to share real thoughts and considerations about the news of the day. Yes, this is a bit of a love affair between myself and technology.

What can I say. I enjoy a world where I can randomly chat with a friend online where we come up with schemes that involve more people with our shared interest. I like that when I talk to a business person on the phone, I can pull up an email to reference a previous conversation or find something as simple as a phone number, by just tapping a screen. It's as though all the abilities for accessing information I ever wished for are now at full and evolving fruition. How lucky are we?

I realize, that maybe this accolade is over the top, but I remember the time before we had such things. I remember manual typewriters and the coveted erasable typing paper. I remember phone books and yellow pages, and when day planners were the cutting edge of organization. I remember Xerox copied flyers, appointment books, Rolodex, and doing things in triplicate. Those things were real to me. 

And now we have electronic signatures, PayPal, PDF, and countless mobile apps to help us do all the things we use to do manually. We pay bills, order goods, plan our lives via screen and tactile input. It's a long way we've come in a short time. This new, ever evolving norm has changed how we do business, how we connect, how we respond to one another.

 It's also changed how we understand. And with so many words and messages flying back and forth through air and across wires, they start to lose meaning, and we start to lose understanding of the power of words and images, and the greater story that's told. What are we as a people if we cannot rely upon our own stories? It's the new quandary of our age.

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