Friday, September 26, 2008

CNN/politics, debate, and musing

Bear with me – I am muddling over a thought …

What a world we now enjoy. I am watching the debates live at, sharing my responses via the live feedback application, IMing with Leon (who is texting from Camp Wartburg where he is at a junior high confirmation retreat), updating my Twitter, and now posting to my blog. And I can't help but wonder, with all this communication, all this message sending, is there listening amidst the noise?

No more is communication linear, certainly. And really, it never has been. But there’s something going on in terms of the weight of the messages that can be sent in proportion to the messages that can be received, encoded, and responded to.

If, as James Carey suggests, “Communication is a symbolic process whereby reality is produced, maintained, repaired, and transformed,” what a reality we are simultaneously inventing and transforming every moment?

Complex. Mutli-layered. Communication free of the constraints of geography was invented with the telegraph. And communication free of the constraints of time, free of forced focus, and free of interruption is now the reality of online, digital, webby sending and receiving.

But I do wonder – how are we transforming the receiving? I can send messages simultaneously via multiple media. But I can still only receive with one mind. I wonder how much is lost as so much content is sent – but only so much can be truly received, considered, and answered.

Oops. I am tuning out the debate. Better go. Can’t listen with just one ear ;-)

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