While on the treadmill the other day at my local gym, a TV in the distance captivated me. I usually don’t care to watch the “devil box” (as my mother used to call it) when I am working out, so I didn’t have one of the wireless headphones that pipe in the audio from any of the TVs in sight.
What struck me were the visuals that held my attention without even being able to hear what was going on. It started with a “got milk” ad, then a Verizon cell phone spot, and then back to the local news.
Without audio, TV becomes in someways a web site on auto pilot. An array of moving images and graphics that come together to tell a story. I kept watching to see if I could put the story together without the sound. It didn’t always work, but when it did, I am sure the gods of advertainment rejoiced somewhere.
When you communicate, does your story make sense without all the senses? Try watching a video of your service without sound. What does the body language of the worship team and pastor say? What do the sermon illustrations look like? In other words, when a sense becomes paralyzed, overwhelmed, or incapacitated, will the other senses compensate or collaborate?
Lest my fascination and sincere curiosity with the psychological and physiological realms of possibility continue, I concede that I am in territory I do not know. Regardless, something intrigues me about how our senses perceive communication and translate that into the story we are intended to comprehend.