The NCA defines communication thoroughly.

Communication focuses on how people use messages to generate meaning within and across all kinds of contexts, cultures, channels and media (Association for Communication Administration, 1995).

Communication is learned. Most people are born with the physical ability to talk, but we must learn to speak well and communicate effectively. Speaking, listening, and our ability to understand verbal and nonverbal meanings are skills we develop in various ways.

Communication relates to all the ways we communicate, so it embraces a large body of knowledge. Communication includes both verbal and nonverbal messages as well as messages that are sent through electronic means like the phone, computer, radio and television.

Communication is a large and diverse field that includes inquiry by humanists, social scientists and critical and cultural studies scholars. A body of scholarship and theory, about all forms of human communication, is presented and explained in textbooks, electronic publications, and academic journals. In the journals, researchers report the results of studies that are the basis for an ever-expanding understanding of how we all communicate.

This definition is inclusive as it speaks broadly of how messages are sent verbally, nonverbally and using various means of communicating. The definition includes judgment in how it states we must learn to communicate. This definition does not include intentionality.

I do believe that communication requires intentionality. I believe that whether we realize it or not, everything that we communicate has an intention. It is like Postman’s belief that “embedded in every tool is an ideological bias, a predisposition to construct the world as one thing rather than another, to value one thing over another, to amplify one sense or skill or attitude more loudly than another” (Postman, 1992, p. 13).

The message needs to be received in order for communication to occur. I don’t believe that everyone a message is intended for needs to receive it, but at least one must in order for it to be communication.

Christian communication should be different in that it should always be spoken in love. 1 Corinthians 13:1 says, “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” (NIV)

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National Communication Association. (n.d.) Communication defined. Retrieved from http://www.natcom.org/Default.aspx?id=546

Postman, Neil. (1992). Technopoly: The surrender of culture to technology. New York, NY: Vintage.

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In light of Bill McKibben’s book The age of missing information, taking time away from my iPod and putting it into time spent outdoors with God’s great creation, would do me a lot of good. Like television, my iPod presents me with a “relentless flood of information…[that] does not necessarily equal an understanding of our situation” (KcKibben, 2006, p. 162). It is harder for me to understand situation around me in real life if I am too involved in the virtual world.

I noticed this week, in regards to my iPod use, that as I got sicker (with a cold), I cared less about using my iPod. I was tired of it being in my face.

Some of the apps that I feel contribute good to my life are the calendar, calculator, and Bible apps. It’s nice not having to carry any of these items in my purse separately, which I used to do.

The Bible app is very handy and I use it frequently. It also has many religious e-books, commentaries and other study tools. The downside to using my iPod as my Bible is that some people do not understand that I am really reading from the Bible. How does this affect them? I do not know.

That would be interesting to find out.

McKibben, Bill. (2006). The age of missing information. New York, NY: Random House

The technology that I want to focus on for my technology plan assignment is my iPod Touch. It has capabilities for internet, e-mail, twitter, apps and music. I can begin to see how it is biased toward taking over lives.
From my technology fasts, I know that my iPod is my most missed technology. I miss my calendar, e-mail, Words with Friends and music. However, it takes up my in-between moments with its noise. It would be much more productive to fill my in-between moments with prayer and thoughts relating to God. I was much more contemplative this week without my iPod.
Some quotes and sources that I found useful are listed below. (more…)

I must agree with Sommerville that news does indeed make us dumb! Our class has proven the fact with the many examples that we have shown from our recent news. I have really enjoyed read Sommerville’s book. He confirms my (not fully formed) thoughts on the news. I do not watch the news and I do not read papers. Any news I take in is from the internet, word-of-mouth, and information gathering to confirm any news I’ve heard from questionable sources.

I am by no means an excellent researcher, but I try to search out the truth when I hear a piece of news. It is a daunting task. There is so much information on the internet that it is difficult to sort through it and find the gems of truth.

It is also difficult to see the big picture in light of historicity. I believe Sommerville desires us be informed through other sources and to put our knowledge into historical context. Sommerville states, “My recommenation is that news be put in its place, perhaps on a monthly schedule but in more substantial amounts, and that it be read after we’ve read more substantial fare, if there’s time.” (1999, p. 142)

You can see from the above quote that he desires us to do other intellectual activities that naturally cause us to learn in a whole and productive way. “Now the news industry and its intellectual proponents will naturally respond, ‘But look how ill-informed the younger generation is already. Are you seriously proposing that they need less news?’ Yes.” (Sommerville, 1999, p. 149)

I believe our ability to find abundant examples of bad news this week shows us that he is correct. We need to focus not on this moment, but rather this decade or century.

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Sommerville, S. J. (1999). How the news makes us dumb: The death of wisdom in an information society. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity.

What a week! I say that in a good way! I enjoyed learning about library research. I have very little experience, but I have always been intrigued by libraries and their unknown treasures. Now I get to learn how to find the treasure!

Professor Davis has been a great addition to this course, in my opinion. She is so friendly and helpful. She has the perfect librarian personality. I look forward to continuing to learn from her.

I have been struggling this week to get my work done. I thought that I was beginning to get a schedule down, but this week has proved that idea to be wrong.

I have struggled every step of the way this week. I believe that part of the problem is my kids being out of school so much. They had two days off for President’s Day and Ella was sick on Wednesday. This is just a continuation of the past several weeks. I am in a completely different frame of mind when they are (more…)

I usually just have a loose schedule in my head of assignments, a to-do list when things get crazy and my Google calendar for appointments.  To-do lists are what keep me sane.

Covey’s example of the man who needed to gain back his integrity inspires me. “Your integrity is at stake.” “So don’t make a promise and break it. Start smaller.” I need to take small steps to get a grip on my time.

I agree with Covey’s generation system. I am in generation two because I put appointments in my calendar and that helps me to plan for meetings and appointments.

What Covey says about those in the second generation is true of me. “Other people become interruptions or distractions that keep them from sticking to their schedule and carrying out their plans.” I get too task-oriented and end up criticizing those who are helping me. (more…)

This week we focused our attention on discovering other technologies that fill the definition of a technopoly. The topic that I found most interesting was the diet industry.

I cannot say that I have used many diets or taken any kind of diet pills. However, I am overly conscious of my body and weight. I feel judged by it. In reality, it is the pervasive dieting culture that we have in the United States that causes me to judge myself.

We bought a Wii and in order to play the Wii Fit games, my children had to go through the weighing process. If I am not careful, my daughter will be judging herself prematurely.

I found the following insights most helpful.

“The U.S. Weight Loss and Diet Control Market study projects that the prescription diet drug revenue will grow at 13.5 percent, and diet books, cassettes and exercise videos at 12.1 percent, annually through 2012.” (Spicer, 2011)

According to the Center for Disease Control, the obesity rate in the United States has continued to grow over the past decade with an estimated 27% of Americans reported as obese in 2008, despite a growing diet industry that generates an estimated $59 billion of revenue annually. (Spicer, 2011)

Nancy Nohrden added to the conversation with, “Have you seen this ‘Dove Evolution’ video?”  (Nohrden, 2011) This video is a poignant example of the importance we place on our looks.

We must resist all of these technopolies. “A resistance fighter understands that technology must never be accepted as part of the natural order of things, that technology…is a product of a particular economic and political context and carries with it a program, an agenda, and a philosophy that may or may not be life-enhancing and that therefore require scrutiny, criticism, and control. (Postman, 1992, p. 184-185)

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Spicer, T. (2011, February 14). The next chapter of Technopoly – Tamela Week #4 [Msg 1]. Message posted to https:/sauonline.arbor.edu
Nohrden, N. (2011, February 14). The next chapter of Technopoly – Tamela Week #4 [Msg 6]. Message posted to https:/sauonline.arbor.edu
Postman, N. (1992). Technopoly: The surrender of culture to technology. New York, NY: Vintage.