Where is Communication Headed?

If we stop to take a look at ourselves, and then compare where we are and how we live our daily lives in comparison to someone of the same age and demographic of the last decade, what kinds of changes would we see? Odds are, there would be a great deal of changes to take note of. These changes are going to be particularly evident among the types of technology being implemented by each party. As of the past three decades, technology has been increasing at a seemingly exponential rate. Recently, if you were to purchase a computer and use it for a year, odds are there would be a new model on the market exhibiting attributes that vastly blow away your “outdated” model. This concept applies to everything, especially communication.

Just ten years ago, it was uncommon for children under the age of twelve to wield a cell phone. Most children were unaware or simply did not care about the newest model cell phone or portable device; however, by today’s standards, kids as young as six are walking around with a cell phone. In conjunction with that, it seems as if nobody can walk from one place to another without plugging their ears with ear-buds connected to an iPod or MP3 player. This is by no means a bad thing, it is just an obvious sign that times are changing.

The way we communicate as a society has taken a drastic turn from what it used to be. Instead of simply calling people on the phone or sending a certified letter through “snail mail”, we are now veteran texters and internet surfers that utilize programs that allow us to see the people we are talking to face to face, regardless of their location throughout the world. It is exciting to imagine the types of advances that will be made in the coming decade, perhaps there will be devices that allow us to communicate telepathically.

The Evolution of Human Communication in The Twentieth Century

Technology is a wonderful thing. If we take a moment to look back and reflect upon the advancements that have been made over the past 100 years, it is astonishing. This concept is particularly evident when it comes to communication. In the early twentieth century we were still transferring mail via horseback, messages through telegraphic wiring networks and depended on the radio for most news taking place outside of our hometowns. Fast-forwarding 100 years, the entire face of society, and communications specifically have drastically evolved. It is nearly impossible to go anywhere by today’s standards and not get a piece of some form of news, or large scale occurrences taking place around the world.

One of the largest accomplishments that assisted in the vast evolution of fast and efficient communication was the television. Before television, radios were the dominant source of media; television opened up an entirely new spectrum of media and news travel potential. After the induction of this wonderful picture box, computers moved in a few decades later. When the personal computer was first being utilized, it was not nearly what a personal computer is in modern society, it was more of a box that stored information and made complicated calculations. However, as the internet popped on and massive networks became interlinked, computers began making their way into the everyday residential household.

Moving ahead another twenty years, the number of computers in residential households is growing at a seemingly exponential rate. As the number of computers grow, as do the number of people plugged into the internet. The internet proves to be the fastest and most efficient way to find and obtain information. Whether the information comes from a streamed media site run by a large broadcasting station, or is simply and RSS feed from an entertainment site; when something big happens, it tends to find it’s way to the internet within the hour of the occurrence, providing incredibly up to date and nearly real time information for people.

The Grassroots of the Convenience of Communication

Many people these days take for granted that they can contact any person they want at any time that they want. You can call someone on their cell phone, send them an email, message them on a social network web site or even video conference with them. Being able to immediately interact with another person anywhere in the world is a staple of the technology era that we live in. Obviously this hasn’t always been the case.

There once was a day where people would write letters to each other and have to wait days or weeks to receive them. People used to have only a few channels on television for their news and entertainment and they were amazed by the footage they saw. Even before then, the radio was the main source for information around the world. These forms of communication only describe what has happened in our most recent history.

Hundreds of years ago, a person’s options were even more limited. People could send messages via telegraph and some entire towns did not even have one. You would have to send your message this way and someone would have to take the message to its destination, which could be miles away. Not a very efficient way to communicate, but it was the origins of many of the types of communication that you use in your everyday lives.

Learning the history of how we communicate will give you are greater appreciation for all the conveniences that you have in your life. Our recent ancestors were pioneers and every year we enhance what they started. We have come a long way in a short period of time and there is no ceiling for how high tech we can go. So next time you send an instant message, email or text, remember that it took a lot of innovation and work to get to where we are today.

The Future of Communicating

Nowadays, most of us are communicating using electronics rather than paper. If you’re communicating, you’re probably texting, emailing, tweeting, posting a status update on your social network of choice, blogging, and the list goes on. The Internet allows for so much more than banalities like online casino games. The question is how will we preserve all of this communication for the future? The past and its methods of communication have been preserved in various ways — cave writing, writing on papyrus, books and paper, and now the Internet. Communication has evolved and become much easier both to preserve and to engage in. We find ourselves in a new conundrum, communication is much easier and therefore a profundity of it exists, for now.

But how do we preserve texts, emails, and tweets? What is worth preserving and what is simply mundane drivel? These are serious issues. Think of the world’s great thinkers and inventors, its great musicians, artists, scientists and writers. We have insights into their lives and their thinking because they wrote letters or journals and diaries. We have these communications because people saw their value and kept them — in boxes, in drawers, in file cabinets, in a variety of places. But where do we ‘keep’ our communications? For most of us the answer is we don’t. We delete old emails, our texts and tweets are out there in the ether for a while, but they soon are lost. Nowadays nothing lasts and if we want to keep a record of our culture, our day to day lives, our communications with others, we are going to have to find a new way to save this data and see that it is worth saving. Some people still keep a journal of their lives, others might still write the occasional letter on real paper and send it in the mail, but this is becoming increasingly rare. Its imperative that we find a way to keep our electronic communication.

Overview of the History of Communication

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Man has been communicating since the beginning of time. Communication has evolved from the rudimentary drawings, markings, and carvings on cave walls to the World Wide Web, which has allowed society to communicate almost instantly with vast numbers of people. As society as a whole develops so do its various modes of communication.

Communication can be broken into four main areas: verbal, non-verbal, written, and visual. Non-verbal communication includes the tone of voice, facial expressions gesture and touch that individuals use to convey meaning to others. Incorporated with non-verbal communication are creative forms of expression including music, dancing, and art. Visual communication is the use of symbols, signs, pictures, and hand gestures. Verbal communication is the use of sounds, words, language, and singing. Written communication has long been deemed the test of a civilization’s advancement. It began with the invention of the alphabet and slowly began to morph into written word.

Man’s need for communication has resulted in a wide variety of inventions for the facilitation of communication. Writing instrument s were the first- man evolved from fingers and sticks to pencils, feather tips pens, and eventually into the modern pens and writing utensils of present time. The typewriter was another convention that helped to facilitate ease of communication. The print press took information and made it available to larger number of people due to the ability to copy information in mass quantities. Cameras were invented based on the need for visual communication. The telephone allowed individuals to be a significant distance apart and still engage in verbal communication. The radio and television both represent major inventions in the area of large scale communication-i.e. Broadcast media. Film and movie cameras have provided society with entertainment for years. Finally the computer, cell phones, and other digital devices allow us to communicate at a level and speed that we’ve never enjoyed before.

Communication -The Basic Model

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We are constantly engaging in and discussing communication without being aware of exactly what it is we are doing or why. The definition of communication in its most basic form is the process of transmitting information from one person or entity to another. This transmission of information takes place in a number of ways especially now with all of the new technology floating about. There is a basic model of communication that we follow that involved a sender and receiver. The sender is the person or thing that actually transmits information to the receiver, which is the person on thing that receives the information. Information could be in a variety of formats- digital media, written and spoken words, hand gestures, facial expressions, and more. Face to Face communication is the most effective due to a lessened possibility of information being misinterpreted.

In reality the model is a bit more complicated than this. The sender has a thought or idea or a purpose for transmitting the information, this is then actually acted upon by the actual sending of the information. When the information is sent it must go thru the communication channel. This could be email, text messages, a room (if it is face to face communication) or via any other way we normally communicate. There is a chance however that in this stage the method becomes distorted by outside interference before it reaches the receiver. When the receiver gets the information there is a filtering process that can alter the message as well. Texts can be misinterpreted, emails can be misread, and blog posts can be taken the wrong way.

Effective communication techniques seek to reduce the frequency with which communication is misinterpreted. This is especially important when information is being sent to a number of receivers, where the potential for miscommunication is even more prevalent.

Principles of Effective Communication

The actual study of communication is very revealing on why there are so many conflicts in our interpersonal relationships. More often than not conflicts are rooted in parties’ inability to communicate effectively. There are a number of ways to improve upon your communication, making it more effective and increasing your ability to maximize your communication efforts.

There are three main principles of communication that govern both business and interpersonal communications. The first is connecting with your audience. Whether it is face to face or via written communication. In order to connect with your audience you need to be aware of certain details about them, where they are from, their ages, socio-economic status, etc. Your message should center on this information. The more connected your audience is the more likely they are to fully take in your communication.

Second, think about how your message could be interpreted by others. Non-verbal communication is a large part of how people interpret messages, but that involves face-to-face communication. When communication is done solely via machines like the telephone, computer, etc., then interpretations are easily misunderstood. Take time to think about the possible ways someone could interpret your message and make sure to amned it to clear up any discrpancies.

Third, engage the party to ensure that they understood. Don’t just assume that the receiver of your message clearly interpreted or understood your message. People can misunderstand a message and proceed on that misunderstanding without you even being aware. Engaging the party and getting feedback, if you will, on what your message meant to them or even feedback on their interpretation of the message is a great way to avoid conflict. This could be as simple as restating your message in a different way to ensure their understanding or even asking for their interpretation of your message.

Business Communications – An Overview

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Business communication can fall in one of three main categories, a businesses internal communications, a businesses communications with other businesses that it has dealings with, and a businesses communication with its customers. All three areas of communication are essential to having a thriving and successful business, especially in today’s society.

A businesses internal communications incorporates the sharing of information between all levels of the business. This can include emails, phone messages, company reports, company blogs, and company meetings. Most businesses will have certain policies regarding internal communications. It is essential to the flow of a business that excellent lines of communication remain open so everyone is aware of major happenings like company events, changes in H.R. policies, and changes in company policies as well as smaller departmental meetings, information related to the performance of job positions, or information requests received within the company.

Businesses communication with suppliers and vendors is extremely important as well. This will include placing orders, communicating deadlines, negotiating of contracts and more. Most communication between companies will occur via phone, online, and via facsimile.

Communication with customers is without a doubt the most important communication that a business will have. This will include advertising, public relations, marketing, branding, customer relations and more. In our current society, this will also include a businesses communication with its customers via online methods. Almost every business large or small has a website or a blog. Business are always developing new communication be it video, podcast, or written words to convey a message to their customers about the goods they are selling, sales items, or any promotions/special offerings. Businesses also use online methods to convey and establish their brand in a customers’ mind. Social networking methods have also become a very common way for businesses to communicate with their customers and to keep track of the online buzz about their company.

How the Internet and CellPhones Have Changed the Way Society Communicates

Historically most communication between individuals took place either face to face, via U.S. mail or via the landline telephone. With the communications and digital revolution, we have found newer ways to express ourselves and to communicate with others- and almost all of them are centered around the Internet.

Just a mere 15 years ago cell phones were barely being used- one because they were so expensive to buy and cumbersome to carry and also because they were very expensive to use. So we had windows of time throughout the day- on the way to and from work, on errands, and so forth that we would only communicate with the people we actually encountered face to face. However as technological innovation grew so did the availability of cell phone usage. They become more portable and the charges associated with their monthly use are still decreasing. The Internet was popular but it also had to wait until we got home or to the office where a computer was available to answer emails, etc. Now that the two technologies have become inextricably intertwined, we are now constantly communicating in a variety of modes sometimes at the same time. You are on your cell phone reading thru your favorite social media website, answering text messages and then your phone rings- its happened to all of us.

There are some who complain that all of the electronic communication has had a negative impact on face-to-face communication. People are more tuned into to their digital device than into driving, and even looking other individuals in the face to acknowledge their presence. However there are others who see the ability to communicate with anyone, anywhere and the ability to meet and positively interact with people all over the world is worth it.

The Route of Communication – History

The process of communication is one in which people convey their meaning to others in an attempt to reach a mutual understanding. Interspecies communication is possible to an extent, such as a lion tamer being able to control a lions actions to a degree. For purposes of this discussion however, the focus will remain on humans interacting with humans.

A set of skills in both parties are necessary in order for communication to function effectively. In the case of speech, those skills involve several main steps. Here follow discussions of those steps.

First comes speaking. When someone has something to say, they want to share it with others. To do so, they must find listeners. If one speaks and no one listens, communication has not occurred. This is a maddening point repeated by teachers who often feel that their students are ignoring them, which the students often are doing. Once listening is taking place, observing can follow, in which the teachers statements and body language, including gesticulations, can be witnessed by the students. These movements often add a little color to the words themselves, which can come out somewhat plainly at times.

To demonstrate that they have listened and observed, students can perform the next step in the process, which is to ask questions about aspects of what was said that are unclear to them. Asking detailed questions implies that the student has analyzed what was said and either found a deficiency in the explanation, or is just struggling to grasp the concept.

After making their inquiry, a student will be able to perform the final step in the communication process, that of evaluation. They can determine if the information as given, which may have included an answer to a question, makes sense to them and should thus be added to their memory.

When things in one persons brain arrive into another persons brain and stay there, even temporarily, the communication process has successfully occurred. It is through this process that humans are able to achieve their best, by attracting the attention of others attuned to their message.