I find it interesting how my methodology for receiving information has evolved over the years.

Complexities of communication confound columnist

Dan Galbraith
Sections Editor

When I was a kid, I got my best information as word of mouth from my friends and spent a ton of time listening to baseball games, news and music on AM radio.

I got a lot of news about my distant family and interesting revelations about my friends and important goings-on via rotary phone and impromptu in-person meetings with people at places like neighborhood garage sales.

When I was a teen, I became a journalism hound and constantly craved information from newspapers, magazines and TV.

When I was in my 20s, I started using a little doodad called a fax to get information more quickly and easily.

Then I was amazed by the information I acquired from e-mail and thought that was the end-all, be-all of communication.
What more could I possibly need, I thought, and how could communication possibly evolve any further?

When 9/11 hit, I started getting bad news through U.S. Postal Service mail, mainly from the company that handled my IRA, which told me how the value of my account dropped 50% on Sept. 12, 2001.

Follow Sections Editor Dan Galbraith on Twitter @6_packer, call him on his rotary phone at (913) 438-0767 or just drop by and give him a shout at his office on the third floor at 10901 W. 84th Terr., Lenexa, Kan., 66214. 

The concept of receiving a lot of information by USPS passed quickly, however, after anthrax and anthrax-lookalike substances made its way into envelopes.

Then I started my blog and began getting cool info from other people’s blogs and from these awesome inventions called RSS feeds, Facebook and Twitter.

Later, I got information via even more complex systems than e-mail and the Internet, including teleconference, e-newsletter blasts, Linkedin, online news Web sites, instant messenger, iPhone and Blackberry.

Then somebody told me how what was old is becoming new again and how everybody these days is looking for transparency, authenticity and simplicity and how people don’t trust the media now but they will trust the word of their relatives, friends and neighbors.

All of a sudden, I get a lot of information from AM news radio. I conduct as much intraoffice communication as possible by shouting across the newsroom. I get most of my information that way now.

When I’m not being yelled to by my coworkers or family members, who were all too happy to adopt the shout communication method all on their own, I talk to people on a rotary phone I picked up cheap from my neighbor who was liquidating everything he had at a garage sale because the economy’s so bad.

I attended the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit 2009 in Anaheim, Calif., Oct. 2-5, at which time I conversed for the first time with dozens of people I had worked with during my three years at The Packer but had never actually met.

And the agent who handles my IRA just stopped by in person to tell me my account value dropped 50% in 2008 and is starting to recover.

So, what’s old really has become new again. Ah, the wondrous advancements of communication technology!

E-mail dgalbraith@thepacker.com

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