What Is Communication?
Communication is the sharing of ideas and information. While many people think of communication primarily in oral or written form, communication is much more. A knowing look or a gentle touch can also communicate a message loud and clear, as can a hard push or an angry slap.
Communication is defined as:
- The act of transmitting
- A giving or exchanging of information, signals, or messages as by talk, gestures, or writing
- The information, signals, or message
- Close, sympathetic relationship
- A means of communicating; specif., a system for sending and receiving messages, as by telephone, telegraph, radio, etc.
- A system as of routes for moving troops and material
- A passage or way for getting from one place to another
- The art of expressing ideas, esp. in speech and writing
- The science of transmitting information, esp. in symbols
This definition suggests that there can be several different types of communication, falling into the categories of non-verbal or verbal.
Over time, the methods and means used to communicate have expanded greatly. In early records, hieroglyphics and primitive cave paintings were used to communicate information and transmit messages. Oral stories and traditions were also passed down through generations and eventually many of these stories also came to be written down in some cultures.
The use of carrier pigeons, followed by Morse code and telegraph technology expanded the reach of communication, making it possible for people to send messages over longer distances.
Today, communication has expanded and is easier than ever before. Television allows messages to be communicated quickly and instantly to millions of viewers worldwide, and viewers can watch events such as political elections unfold in real time.
Perhaps nothing has changed communication so much as the Internet. While television and radio provided one-way communication, the Internet allows for the two-way exchange of information and lets people throughout the world send data instantly and share ideas immediately. Video chat, instant messages and even voice-over-IP telephone systems make it possible to connect with and communicate with more people than ever before.