So in the Communication field, two key areas of study (which are often viewed as separate areas) are mass communication and interpersonal communication. These areas are generally considered to be separate in this way: mass media is one-way communication (such as TV, radio, and traditional journalism), whereas interpersonal communication typically covers conversations and other two-way communication forms.
The thing is, I believe that mass media always had an interpersonal dimension to it, and vice versa, but I've been realizing more and more lately that emerging technology forms are causing mass-mediated communication to take on more of the expectations of interpersonal communication, and vice versa, as new genres evolve that meld the two (blogs are one example). More and more, the creators of previously one-way communication (such as book authors) are not only expected to go on book tours to meet their fans, they're also expected to have blogs and respond to comments. And so on.
The thing is, I've been noticing that this trend has encouraged me to become more and more aware of the bizarre dynamics that are created as the expectations of these two kinds of communication collide more and more with blogs, social networking sites, and other emerging communication forms.
Looking forward to seeing how these dynamics evolve, particularly as it impacts me both as a communication researcher and as a communicator. I've certainly had to catch myself readjusting my expectations lately, to make them more reasonable both of myself and others, as these convergences (threaten to?) affect my communication patterns in both new and old forms.
I'm pretty sure my expectations are also influenced by my being a graduate student, in which role much interactive discussion is expected of me as part of my coursework and professionalization, so I'm curious whether anyone else notices this? Do you have any experiences with this you'd like to share? (Don't feel overwhelming need to post if you're busy, but hey, if you want to participate, I'd love to hear from you.)
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Mass Media Meets the Interpersonal
I'm a writer, an incurable reader, a narrative theorist, a media researcher, a scholar/author/writer/consultant, a PK, and the Queen of Soup Making. I write a lot, and I've taught a wide range of topics in universities. Along my journey I've picked up a PhD in Communication from Purdue and 2 degrees in English. I've been turning my ideas about communication as author-audience relationships into a communication paradigm that can be applied to a wide range of situations. I'm also writing a historical mystery series. I'm a member of Sisters in Crime, and the co-chair of the Mystery and Detective Fiction Caucus of the Popular Culture Association. My MA thesis focused on connections between T. S. Eliot and Thoreau, who each wondered about how to remain still and still moving. Before I went to grad school, I spent 7 years working for a division of HarperCollins Publishers.