In 2012 we are saturated with the myth that communications is about being constantly ‘plugged-in’ with e-mail, twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, instant messenger, Skype, Face time or now Pinterest. Of course to run with the techno-geeks it’s a matter of shelling out the bucks and owning the right Smart Phone or iPad.
Sometimes the truth is the exact opposite. Being plugged in 24/7 oversaturates us with bits of distracting information, most of which turns out to be totally void of real value. It holds our attention for five seconds – just long enough to run our train of thought off the rails – and then passes off into the ether sphere from which it should never have ventured.
We LOL. We emoticon :>) . We BFF. We LMFAO – (actually I like some of the music from the band LMFAO and it took me several months before finding out what it meant :>( )
By the way, if you are into proper punctuation and grammar, be gentle on me. I just don’t know how to use a parenthesis after an emoticon! (
Marshall Mcluhan was definitely right. The medium is the message. We are so massaged into the electronic medium that we massage the message as well.
Business also likes to use a lot of TLAs (three letter acronyms). We talk about ROI, WBS and IOS. Occasionally we slip in ETLAs like SWOT and PERT. (There are no FLAs – four letter acronyms – officially it’s an ETLA – extended three letter acronym). Then we have SMART – an extended-expanded three letter acronym (EETLA). We won’t even talk about PIGSBULKS!
Communication is supposed to make it easier for us to understand each other. So we invent words, phrases and jargon to try to clarify the communication.
Communication is about crafting the right message and using an effective way to deliver the message to achieve the needed results.
Is it working? Communications courses are in demand more than ever, and more of a necessity.
The author Mark Twain once said it so eminently: “The difference between the right word and almost the right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug”.