Texture — Human Expression in the Age of Communications Overload

Texture — Human Expression in the Age of Communications Overload
By Richard H.R. Harper

As everyone in this class knows, we’re living in an age of a whole lotta communications.  We’ve got emails, IMs, tweets, calls, posts, and more to handle.  Now whether you believe you’re under the strain of a “communications overload” or just handling 21st century life, it’s a topic we can relate to and so it piqued my curiosity enough to give this book a read.

I was expecting a book that takes a real hands-on, direct approach to modern communications and how to best handle them efficiently and effectively…from the perspective of a consumer as well as a content-producer. I didn’t really get that.  The book take a much more conceptual, abstract point of view and focuses not so much on the particular modes of communications and strategy in using them, buy more the human element of communications. The author looks at what drives us to communicate — be it through a hand-written letter or a quick Facebook post — and the impact of those communications. A central theme of the book is why we seek out so many (new) ways to communicate despite complaining of the burdens of communications. Harper stresses the goal of communicatoins should not be efficiency, but rather enriching the human experience and social bonds.

While I certainly can’t call this my favorite book, it was an interesting read.  The author is well-read and versed in his field, but hampers readability and flow in this book by citing or referencing other authors/works seemingly in every other sentence. “See this” and “See that” is great, but I’d rather have the author give me the relevant reference paraphrased and then make a point. I also caught a couple typos…maybe that’s only in my Kindle edition of the book, but that’s still something that should have been weeded out.

Now, back to your regular barrage of digital bits and messages.


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