Floating Down the River

If you compare the perpetually changing entity that is communications to a river, you can find some interesting (pseudo-intellectual) and useful (pointless) metaphors. Many communications scholars and theorists (at least from my perpective) seem to be concerned with where the river came from, and where it might be going. They want to know if it will take them somewhere. If that place is good or bad, right or wrong. Yet, while everyone is studying and predicting and speculating about the past, present and future of the river, they are all missing the most amazing part. That is: there is a river right here in front of us; a wondrous force of nature. Communications, like the river, is on a similarly natural and forceful course. As communicators, we respond to stimuli and obstacle. At times we ebb and flow and divert, but we are constantly in motion. Wherever we came from, and wherever we are going, we should appreciate that in some form or another “we” are still an entity and there is still something out there for us to be a part of. That’s all I have to say about that.

4 thoughts on “Floating Down the River

  1. Given Carr’s comments about how technology is rewiring our brains, don’t you think its important to see where this rvier is headed before we wade farther in to the current?

    • Hey Jason, thanks for reading.

      I do think that it is very important to try to understand where the future of communications is headed, but in order to do so I think some adventurous risks have to be taken. We can make predictions based on previous patterns, but solving the mysteries of the universe cannot be easily done by sitting idly in a comfortable position on the side. I think that there are plenty of people who are already charging forward into uncharted territories, for better or worse, but at least they are doing it and will hopefully be accepting of the consequences. This is just how I see it, so if the early adopters of all these new communications technologies suddenly reverse direction and try to swim upstream I won’t be too surprised, I just hope I’ll be able to keep up. Speaking of keeping up, I should really get some more blog posts going…


      P.S. I enjoyed your donut metaphor.

      • “We can make predictions based on previous patterns.” Sounds like Chaos theory to me. 😉

        I really like your take on this! Just to clarify that I’m getting this right though, is what you’re getting at the idea that we need to stop taking for granted what we have in the here and now and just enjoy it while it lasts? Or that we need to take risks and not worry about what the future may hold?

        • Hi Caylin, glad you like it.

          I’m going to take the easy way out on this and say: “both”. I think taking educated risks and reflecting upon them is a good way to learn. That doesn’t mean we should be careless, but sometimes you have to make the most with what you’ve got because you can’t wait for something better to come along. Kind of like Woody Allen’s movie Whatever Works, not that you should take philosophical guidance from Woody Allen… or me for that matter.


Comments are closed.