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Battaglia, Chris

Page history last edited by cbattaglia 10 years, 4 months ago

Jr. Hockey writer for the Canadian Press and professional cynic.

My sites: ChrisBattaglia.com, DeadFries.com

e-mail - cbattaglia@gmail.com

twitter, delicious, etc...: cbattaglia

facebook: clbattaglia

 

 

How I Communicate

 

I'm not much of a phone person. For some reason I never found it comfortable. Luckily for me, I live in a time when phonecalls are just one of many ways to communicate instantly with people all over the world. My preferred methods are text messaging and the internet.

 

The internet opened door for alternatives to the phone -- first with e-mail, then with developments like instant messaging and file sharing -- and I was hooked the moment I discovered them. I was into ICQ and Napster before they were cool (and, in the case of Napster, illegal) and continued to explore the communication possibilities this global online network offered. I experimented with site-building on Geocities and spent hours chatting on MSN, developing what would eventually become my online voice -- a voice based not in speech, but in text.

 

It wasn't until I became an administrator on a popular internet forum that I truly understood what the internet was capable of. Before that, I saw internet communication as simply a way to contact people I already knew. Websites were static repositories of information to me, not interactive platforms where ideas can be shared and discussed. But as I spent more time on the forum, as I began to develop friendships with some some members while others became adversaries, I realized the power these interactions carried. More importantly, I gained a better understanding of how different people express emotions through text, an invaluable tool for honing my own online communications.

 

My communication style is rife with references to history and pop culture, a natural consequence of constantly being a few keystrokes away from a vast array of information. It's an overwhelming prospect, one that naturally leads to a little intellectual laziness if you take the unfettered and instant access to knowledge for granted. If you can google the answer, who needs to remember it? It's just another google away.

 

The overexposure of the internet helped engender a certain sense of apathy and cynicism in my voice. The internet doesn't discriminate between good and bad information. It doesn't filter the words of a forum post to remove falsities and general ignorance. There isn't a limit to how many celebrity gossip blogs can exist simultaneously. Being online opened the world to me, but unfortunately I quickly discovered how trivial and frustrating most of the world (or, more accurately, humanity) can be.

 

However, the advantages of this constant connection far outweigh the drawbacks. For example, the character limits of texting and Twitter have inadvertently forced me to focus on brevity, which I consider a blessing in disguise. While I do question the quality of knowledge that can be communicated in such a limited manner, I admire the challenge of condensing thoughts into bite-sized chunks that maintain their original context.

 

My communication methods will continue to evolve with technology and social trends, but I've started to notice a paradox. The more we move towards a world of instant and constant communication with anyone and everyone, the easier it is to say nothing at all, as if the goal of sharing meaningful thoughts becomes secondary to the act of communicating. In our attempts to stay perpetually connected, we may have uncovered the greatest alienation of all: if everyone shouts (or tweets) at the same time, no one will really be heard.

 

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