Eloquence in an Electronic Age touches on communication’s evolution over the centuries. There are many ingredients in communicating a message that will reach one’s audience depending on if the speaker wishes to simply inform, inspire or influence them. From passionate to more professional, informal to impersonal, simply sound to sight in Technicolor, communication has drastically changed over time. This article was winded in its description of communication and rather erratic in jumping from one example to another with philosophers or orators giving their similar and contrasting opinions on what communication is and should be in order to be effective. Even Einstein said if you can’t explain something in simple terms, you yourself do not understand it.
The Romans believed an orator who could not move his or her audience missed the full impact and purpose of speech. Today, passion is subdued for professionalism regardless if the topic is of a benign nature or not. Where President Lincoln’s infamous Gettysburg Address is remembered, recorded and recited President Reagan’s legend lives on in images, and his speeches are left to obscurity.
Communication has continued to evolve in nearly every way since its beginning. What it should or should not be or how it should or should not be delivered is completely circumstantial and cannot be summed up in simple bullet points. It is an amalgamation of all the characteristics aforementioned in this reading.
With the introduction of technology, communication and politicians’ use of it has changed even more. Miller and McKerrow’s The Third Age of Political Communication: Influences and Features, touches on how media and journalists have changed in their ways of communicating politicians’ debates, speeches, etc. Technology has made it possible for all kinds of information to be accessible and shareable in real time. Politicians’ appearances, debates, speeches, campaigns, what they support and are against, and so on can all be “Googled” and digested in an instant. Journalists, reporters, and all those working in the news business are now almost parasitic in their quest for politicians’ quotes on a topic or tragedy before they’ve even been fully briefed, their personal lives and endeavors, their characters and even personal financial information. All of it has become much more personal, dramatic and placed under a microscope for the world to judge.
Communication overall is not something easily defined. It is too vast and growing too quickly to be put into a box of exact specifications, but it is quite interesting to study. Technology has both advanced and hindered communication in some ways, made us all connected at the touch of a button and in the realms of politics has made it that much more of a circus act. It is a fascinating beast to behold though.