Raised by a couple of TV channels, along with Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Davey Crockett, Zorro and Howdy Doody, I (like many of my contemporaries), am extremely comfortable with the medium of television. It wasn’t until the University of Texas that I realized I didn’t have to study Pharmacology and drug interactions (Dad was a pharmacist) but could actually study radio, television, and film. Who wouldn’t want to spend their college courses sitting in a theater to view and critique the Samurai films that would inspire and be remade into a decade of spaghetti westerns? I actually enjoyed reading my “Television and Society” textbooks!
On the other hand, my daughters were raised by over a thousand channels of Cable TV (especially MTV and VH1). My three daughters’ (Daphne, D’Anne and Lexi) opted for Texas State University (formerly, Southwest Texas) and they, too, studied communications. Their courses were incredibly different, and I remain extremely proud of the ease with which they sailed through them to graduate.
While they enjoyed their matriculation, I enjoyed the advertising agency business as a solo practitioner. I had relationships with a small handful of designers and graphic artists with whom I enjoyed working and, best of all, some hand-picked clients whom I also enjoyed. During that period (and pretty much since the early 70’s), most of my creative thinking revolved around a TV spot: find the motivation, feel the inspiration, visualize it, allow the words and pictures to follow, then compress everything into thirty seconds.
Now, we’re compressing everything into less than 10 seconds or 100 characters! It’s how we communicate today… and tomorrow. We now convey thoughts, emotions, and even information into texts, tweets, and images. I had to learn to increase the size of emoji’s and emoticons to find out if someone was being funny or sarcastic. Land-line telephones are archaic and my cell phone is smarter than me. In fact, I just got a new, smarter, smartphone after days of research and app-searching (never would have dreamt of that term when I was in school) to find the exact, right one! And I never even had to ask for the girls’ advice (will probably regret that later, too).
After all these years, I want to share with you that it’s not too late to change and, better yet, it’s more fun than I expected. In future blogs, I hope to relay some new communication pointers to you. If some of my pointers are too new to you, then you (like me) may need some “re-grooving”. So “stay tuned.”