What is Communication? – Characteristics, Importance, Types, and More
Communication is the volunteer act of transmitting information among living beings. It is related to all living beings, in one way or another, with various purposes and strategies, whether they are microorganisms exchanging chemical signals, birds trading songs, or human beings exchanging pieces of language.
Communication is the topic of study in frequent disciplines, dependent on its nature and the actors involved in the process. However, it is always a fundamental procedure to know the relationships among living beings. In addition, human beings learned to replicate this natural process through technology. computer systems, for example, can communicate with each other automatically.
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Characteristics of Communication
- It is a process of information exchange between living beings (or between cybernetic systems that imitate them).
- Throughout the communicative process, different “elements of communication” are involved, and they must be present to communicate effectively.
- generally occurs cyclically; it feeds back, although it can also be unidirectional.
- It can have many general purposes, but it is almost always about eliciting a desired response from the interlocutor or interlocutors.
Importance of Communication
Communication is related to all forms of life whose understanding is based on practically all human knowledge. No form of life does not communicate in one way or another with the outside, and therefore we are talking about a fundamental process in the known world.
In addition, thanks to technology, we have been able to design mechanisms to amplify, characterize or modulate communication, overcoming excellent spatial and even temporal distances. It is an activity of central importance in human existence.
Types of Communication
That which is given through the chat that is, through verbal signs. Since the human being is the only animal provided with language, this type of communication is exclusive to humans.
The one that does not depend on the word to transmit its message but on gestures, movements, or sounds that are not part of a language, that is, do not constitute signs. The automatic communication of animals is in this category and the so-called “body language” of humans.
Although he also uses the word to transmit the message, we place it in a separate category because it does not operate immediately in the presence of sender and receiver. Still, through temporary distances: the sender may have already ceased to exist, yet his message continues to be transmitted as long as someone is capable and willing to read it.
We will place in this category the forms of communication that depend on the transmission and reception of chemical signals, just as it happens within our organism, as the cells of one type and another communicate to act in an organized manner.
Elements of Communication
For communication to exist, some elements must be present and available, which will operate around the communicative circuit, that is, the idea and delivery of information, as two or more individuals alternate their roles in sending and receiving their respective messages.
The said circuit is given according to certain conditions and specific rules, as the case may be, but in them, the same elements can always be identify, which are.
The one who initiates the communicative act, creating, encoding, and transmitting a message. For example, a speaker, a radio announcer, or an animal growls.
The one who captures the message can decode and understand it, thus recomposing the news. For example, a listener, a person who tunes his radio, or an animal perceives the growl.
The same information that is transmitted, whatever its type. For example, a request for help, a radio announcement, or a warning that somebody else’s territory is being cross.
The code of the messages is a form of encryption, that is, a verbal or system of meaning that is use to translate the message. In the case of oral communication, this is very evident since we need a shared language to transmit a letter to the receiver. But other types of systems of meaning can be codes, much more primitive, such as the one that associates growling with the risk of biting, usually based on the experience already lived.
The communication network is the physical medium use to transfer the message. In other words, the natural way we carry out the communicative act: the sound waves that carry the spoken word, the ink letters on paper, or the chemical impulses between one cell and another.
Function of Communication
It can occur for various purposes, such as:
- informative function. When its purpose is to share more or less objective information. That is, to define an aspect of reality or point out an element of the real world.
- Training function. It is propose to influence the recipient’s mind for pedagogical, training, or teaching purposes, transmitting habits, ideas, or convictions.
- persuasive function. When you seek to convince the interlocutor to adopt a point of view or carry out specific actions. Said more easily, convinced.
- expressive function. When subjective, psychic, or emotional contents of the sender are transmitted, without expecting any action from the receiver except sympathy or stirring accompaniment.
Communication is “an specious answer to the painful divisions among self and further. Private and public, and inner thought and outside world.