Roles as Conversations
the many dimensions of communication
In life …
… we play various roles. We also do as we communicate. Media Roles looks at these roles and the manner in which we live them out as social beings within our communities. Let’s illustrate! Here are the main ones …
- Advocating – for change
- Apologetic – challenging beliefs
- Celebrating – having a party
- Counselling – providing advice and interpersonal help
- Entertaining – enjoyment and relaxation
- Informing – news and current affairs
- Inspiring – hope, friendship and companionship
- Instructing – sharing knowledge as teachers
- Interacting – cultivating friends and relationships
- Modelling the way things might/could/should be
- Promoting – awareness of current issues
- Serving – practical acts of kindness
- Witnessing – talking about God’s work in our lives
- The Bottom Line – declaring God’s presence in the world
We discover these are all key elements of conversations. We can easily shift from one role to another without realising it. We find ourselves performing different roles – father/mother, son/daughter, spouse, neighbour, worker, etc. Each role calls for a different kind of interaction – and we know what is appropriate in each context.
Media are not all equal. Some media are suited for specific roles. It is important that we have a good understanding of which media are good for what. In the past we may have worked hard to determine how best to use radio, TV, film and print. We had a fair understanding of their respective strengths and weaknesses and knew how to use them accordingly. And that has not changed.
But what about digital media? Clearly they are now bringing to light new dimensions of media communication that we did not have before. But we also need to know how to use them.
Learning how to use them is something that is best done by doing… How to talk, how to move between technologies, how to get them to play off each other, what draws attention, the importance of visual elements, the need for eye-appeal… Even having something to say… and the big ‘C’ word – CONTENT!
As initiators of communication we need to be aware of all these things and more…. As communicators within the media, church or mission context it is important that we understand both the scope and the depth. Why? Because we too easily get it wrong – or we fail to recognise media opportunities when they arise.