Whenever something happens that is of interest to several people, communication is needed to spread the word and makes sure that the information reaches a lot of people. Whether it is the audio or visual media or both, we have had ways of communicating our news….whether it was the pigeon post or dak runners or letters or conversation, we need to communicate.
The internet has made communication instant, and has taken away the time lag that used to be associated with the transference of news or information from one corner of the globe to another. And the information is now permanently there..until the last star winks out, the bytes, the emails, the videos, are permanently on record, reliving the moments that they describe.
But communication, especially public communication, seems to have become a double-edged sword now….it seems to have become such an essential part of an event that sometimes the event itself is moulded by the need to have the media coverage….reality shows, which appal me, with contestants shown breaking down and dissolving into tears, are a prime example.
Sometimes the private lives of people are put on public view in a way that makes me, at least, cringe…the dilemma of the Mehta couple, for example, where the whole country, for a while, seemed to have an opinion on what, I feel, should be up to them to decide..the fate of their unborn child, which was likely to have serious defects and would not have a normal life, or allow them to.
Then there the “celebrities”, who, as one wit described them, are “famous for being well-known”. They seem to constantly want to be in the news, and often manufacture events to keep them there….is this need for fame some form of addiction, that needs the media to feed on itself?
Communication is absolutely essential…the human race (or indeed, any creature on earth) could not survive without it…but do we really need some of the kinds of communication we have, where coverage is without a thought to the privacy of someone’s sorrow or misfortune?
Here are two aids to communication that I photographed recently, at a meeting. It’s funny how people congregate in front of a video camera or a news microphone….
The microphone and the writing pad, two symbols of the power of communication, that is global, instant, and compelling.