Have Our Stages of Communication Really Changed That Much?

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Whenever I watched Don McMillan’s video about Powerpoint, I could immediately connect it with some of my own experiences, mainly in college, that involved poor use of PowerPoint.  However, I could also connect it to Jay David Bolter’s article entitled “The New Dialogue” in Tribble and Trubeck’s Writing Material.  In his essay, Bolter talks about how the digital age allows the reader to make his or her own path because it represents a networking pattern rather than a linear pattern (76).  PowerPoint is similar; however, rather than allowing the reader to make his or her path, it allows the presenter to make his or her own path.  McMillan illustrates in his own PowerPoint the faults of such a freedom, highlighting the misuse of text and picture animation, graph labels, and text placement. 

However, by comparing these very different sources of information, I think that PowerPoint seems to be an extension of the oral phase of communication, which made me think that I might be looking at the phases incorrectly.  Manuscript did replace oral, print did replace manuscript, and now digital is replacing print as the most important forms of communication; however, oral communication is still so important in our lives, perhaps more so within our current stage.   Instead of each moving into the other, perhaps we should look at each type of communication development separately?

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