Communication is the traversal of any entity from one point to the other. Since the dawn of mankind, communication has been one of the foremost concerns of the race, because without a well-developed system of communication, it would have been impossible to develop a social society where one’s thoughts could be shared, understood and reciprocated to by the other.
Types of Communication
Communication can broadly be divided into two groups:
- Verbal communication – This mode of communication involves the transmission of decipherable codes that are meant to be generated by the source and deciphered by the receiver. The various means of communication we use in our daily lives to communicate with the society is generally verbal and is done with the help of various devices like – writing instruments and stationary, mobile phones and telephones, emails, chat rooms, and even vehicles are a means of communication in the broad sense of term. These various means will mostly be broadened in this essay.
- Nonverbal communication – This mode of communication has an absence if a proper objective language or code, instead it involves subjective sensory perception like those of touch, glance, eye movement, etc.
Means of Communication
The various modes of communication that we have at our disposal today are:
Pen and paper has been one of the oldest known forms of an organized mode of communication. Early men used dried up animal hide to write on them. The language they used at that time consisted mainly of predefined drawing and patterns.
However, paper was developed long after men learnt to speak organized and proper language. Absence of paper made the humans that time write on various sources like animal hide and rocks.
Then came the paper and further came the printing press. With the advent of these, verbal communication propagated by leaps and bounces. Today we see letters, advertisements, hoardings, pamphlets, books, diaries, notebooks, etc and many more forms of communication floating around us.
Long distance electronic communication
The earliest forms of long distance communication systems was through the telegrams that sent Morse codes which were deciphered at source. Then came the telephones, first patented by Alexander Graham Bell, which allowed us for the first time, to convey real-time voice messages.
This was a groundbreaking achievement in the history of human communication. Voice and audio were being received and transmitted instantaneously over hundreds of miles of telephone cables. At that time, distant electronic communication was contributed to by the likes of Nikola Tesla, Guglielmo Marconi and many more brilliant scientists who ushered in a new era of long distance transmission of voice over the air by the use of radio waves which for the first time negated the requirement of any sort of physical wire.
These radio instruments went through significant improvisation during the Second World War. These devices commonly referred to as ‘wireless’ were modern-day walkie-talkies. These have a transceiver within themselves that help generate and transmit signal to a radio communication tower which then directs the signal to its destination.
Transistor Radios were also used for the broadcast of news and various other information to the general public. With the advent of satellites that orbit around the earth, communication had a whole new meaning altogether. Devices like television could transmit black and white and later colour moving images and videos along with audio across thousands of miles without the use of such long cables.
They were being transmitted through satellites. The host signal was fed into the satellite which redistributed it to all the receiving television sets. Mobile phones then changed everything. Now, one could talk with someone sitting anywhere in the world without any wires and entanglements. It could be done while walking, eating or even driving! A group of enthusiastic engineers from Vodafone were the first to set up mobile towers for public use.
Internet and on-line communication
The internet began as a military project called the ARPANET which was later extended into a network of computers that were used for information exchange between various laboratories and research institutions for exchange of scientific data.
Much later, with the advent of the World Wide Web, invented by Cern engineer Tim Berners Lee, internet was open to the general public with much more ease of access and a friendlier display interface. It became like an index of everything in the world.
One could find any information floating in it. E-mail became the principal means of communication through the internet. Just like its name suggests, it was nothing but an electronic mail delivery system, however, with speeds never before seen.
Mails could be sent and received instantaneously anywhere in the world. This not only helped in information exchange but also shortened distance between individuals in the world.
Vehicles also form a very important mode of communication. It takes people from one place to another thus bringing the world closer. It results in proliferation and growth of trade and business. Goods can be transported easily resulting in an improvement in the overall economy.
This not only brings the world closer, but also results in cultural leading to the development of human bonds transcending the narrow walls of caste, religion, creed and colour and facilitation cultural exchange. Our minds and hearts broaden up moving from place to place.
Today we have been successful not only to exploit the wonders of this blue planet but also have ventured into the unknown mysteries of the outer space and the universe with the help of space vehicles, satellites and telescopes. Today, because of the technological and scientific advancements, we have an array of different modes of transportation to choose ranging from hand-drawn carts to space crafts.
Communication has always been of utmost importance for any society, be it human or any other animal. Without proper modes of communication, progress is just an eloping dream.
Scientists and technologists all over the world are engaged in constant toil for the development of newer means of communication which will be faster, easier, and at the same time cheaper.