What is human communication? I recently began developing my own theory. The Shannon-Weaver model of communication: sender, encoder, channel, decoder, receiver, and noise is the simplest form of communication and serves as launching point for my own professional theory.
The recent presidential election illustrates my theory that Noise does not only affect the path we use to communicate, it effects the intention, perception, existing bias, and stated bias. We had two candidates (senders) on the campaign trail sending messages (information) to citizens (receivers). They communicated their information at rally’s, televised debates, and social media. Whether backing the democratic nominee, republican nominee, or third party candidates we can make a choice on who we will vote for.
I found myself getting upset, railing at the perceived ignorance of people who do not check on the credibility of those they decide to back. Then, SMACK, it hit me. I was making assumptions based on my point of view and perspective. I assumed the reasons people voted for candidates was blind faith, not the cry for change, the cry for status quo, or any other reasons guiding them. Assumptions I made based on the noise of my experience.
I summed up my theory with my own assumptions. If I am the writer, speaker, or audience I bring my “noise baggage” to the communication I am involved in. Likewise, others are part of the noise as well. If there is a lesson to be gained from the recent presidential election, it is that there is noise all around us. Everyone is a part of the noise due to experiences that shape us and we have a responsibility of awareness to facilitate moving forward.