Twitter. Facebook. Blogging. Email. Cell phone calls. Text messages. No, I’m not compiling a list of modern communications. Just recapping a typical day.
It’s actually rather amazing to think how communication has changed since I listened to Dr. Bill Stowe’s discussion of the sender-receiver-medium-message functions in Comm Theory class. Oh, those principles still apply, but the medium part has certainly evolved.
I have been a professional communicator since 1992 when I joined the news staff of my hometown newspaper. At the newspaper, we didn’t have a fax machine! We printed our drafts of stories on an archaic machine that spewed out single columns of copy on slippery sheets. I had a phone on my desk at work and one at home; that was the only way to reach me unless you wanted to drop by.
Three years later, my first boss in higher ed public relations eschewed email as a fad that was being driven by the computing department! In those early days of my PR life, we drove our news releases to the newspaper and radio offices in town and mailed hard copies to other outlets around the state and region. Now, email can have our releases around the world before I can find my keys. Digitally packaged pixels have replaced black-and-white glossies packed between cardboard pages.
These reflections teach me a lot when it comes to working to incorporate social media and other emergent technologies. We MUST continue to update our communications abilities. Not personally understanding the newest new media doesn’t mean we can ignore it.
That’s all for now. I need to check Facebook on my laptop while I update Twitter from my cell.