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Friday, March 05, 2010

The Once and Future Brain #5

This whole week we've been looking at the way that the internet has changed our brains and what that means for communication and preaching (you can catch up here: 1, 2, 3, 4).

I want to end the week by bringing the conversation back around to the main point of this blog - visual communication is essential for reaching the people of the internet generation.

The history of our communication has, in some ways, come full circle. We started as pre-literate people who used story and image to communicate - the cave drawings found all over the world attest to this. Eventually we developed written language and that drastically changed our brains and our world - images were still very important for the illiterate (90% or more of the population). Then the printing press came and made words cheap, but images stayed expensive, we shifted away from images and focused on words. Now with the internet changing communication again, images are storming back to the front.

If you want to communicate with people who have grown up with the internet, an information rich environment where images and audio combine with text, then you need to use information rich means. The other option is losing them - they won't pay attention to a talking head. This isn't because they're young, this is because their brains are drastically different. This isn't a fad that will go away in time - this is as significant as the printing press. You must change or you will become irrelevant.

Am I wrong?

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