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What is the definition of communication?

Communication has long been a subject of fascination for humans, causing a deep interest which has led to its study across the world. This article briefly describes what communication is and where it operates.

Sharing information

Communication is the sharing of information between a sender and a receiver. This can take place directly or through a facilitating media, and may travel over space and time. For the purpose of this article, communication will be classified into two broad categories, human and non-human. Human communication takes place between two or more human beings who want to convey messages to each other, with the intention of eliciting responses. It is the system used to maintain contact between people physically close to each other or far apart. Its primary tools are speech, gestures, and communication devices. Speech has its foundation on sounds and language. Two or more humans communicating with each other tend to understand the messages which they are sharing when they use the same language. However, if they do not understand a common language, the use of sounds and gestures can relay whatever needs convenience. Communication devices have the purpose of eliminating the barriers of space and time. When humans are far apart, drums, telephones, telegrams, computers, satellite systems, etc. can act as communication media. They eliminate the obstacle of distance and convey messages instantly.

Eliminating barriers

When humans want to eliminate the barrier of time such as years, decades or centuries, they can record their messages in communication devices such as books, stones, cassettes, compact disks and vinyl records. This will maintain their messages for humans born many years later. Writing is one of the oldest forms of communication and relies on an accepted language and alphabetical patterns. Some of the oldest messages known to men, which have survived for millennia, are using written scripts in books, stones, slabs, etc. Non-human communication takes place between animals or plants. Animals of every species can communicate with related animals through instinctively recognised signals and sounds. The same is true for plants which communicate simple messages internally and externally to members of their own species or other organisms. The primary aim of plant and animal communication is the preservation of life and reproduction. Communication methods among humans appear to be the most developed. Despite the fact that humans rank among the weakest creatures on earth, they have cooperated to exploit its advantages in ways which surpass any other species’ efforts.

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