Home > COM540 > It’s all about Me…don’t you know?

It’s all about Me…don’t you know?

Today, let’s talk about those guys who build complex diagrams to explain things. (They seem to always be guys, don’t they?)

You know what I mean. They’re well-intentioned and usually have arrows and boxes and somebody has spent a long time on them and really, really thought about them. But, it seems the more they think about them and tweak them and get them all ready to show they’re way too complicated to communicate the message on their own.

By the time these guys are done with their model-diagram, they need to write an operating manual to navigate the thing. It kind of makes you wonder what the point was in making the model to begin with? Why don’t they just write a research paper and be done with it?

For example, there’s the famous food pyramid. Well, it used to be famous. But now they aren’t satisfied with it so we have all these new pyramids being drawn up. It’s kind of a food fight.

If you google ‘food pyramid’, look out, you’re going to see a whole smorgasbord of models trying to explain what we should eat. I was just getting to understand the old one and now they’re off changing it again. I guess the old one didn’t account for tacos or smoothies. Smoothies are real popular now, you know.

Today we were assigned the project of coming up with a new model for interactive communication. You see, kind of like smoothies that weren’t even invented until recently, these days the communications business is all a twitter about interactivity.

In other words, we want you to answer your e-mails.

Go ahead, interact a little bit. The Internet makes it virtually free.

Anyway, our class broke up into teams and our team decided that we don’t like diagrams that are models of the communication process. To be kind and because of all the work those fellows put into them, let’s just say we don’t understand those diagrams. More to the point, we couldn’t find ourselves in any of those models. At least when you look at the old food pyramid, they had pictures of food like bananas that you could recognize.

Oh sure, these communication models had “sender” and “receiver” and so forth but we didn’t like being put in a box that was on one side of the diagram and then imagining that you had to jump out of that box into another one. (We assumed that’s what you have to do as there was no operating manual with the diagram provided to us.)

So, we decided to devise a diagram that wasn’t a box. Our diagram didn’t have anything to do with other people out there trying to jump from “sender” boxes into “receiver” boxes. We drew a circle and called it the “me” model of communication.

In other words, let’s just worry about “me” and how “I” interact with the world. Then, anyone can act like they are a “me” and they are welcome to use our model. Our professor kind of liked the “me” model because I think it was easy for her to imagine herself in our circle going out answering e-mails, listening, chatting, responding and so forth. Well, that was swell. We could see right away that our model was easy to use.

Right at the end of class though, kind of to challenge us, our professor said, “wait a minute, this model only accounts for people. There’s other kinds of communicators.” But, our group was fast on our feet and defended the “me” model pronto by responding, “if a chair squeaks it’s communicating something, right? Well, a chair is allowed to be a ‘me’, also!” Silence. Confirmation. Approval.

Someday, we’ll make a real colorful and professional looking ‘me’ model and post it. Trust ‘me’.

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