Communication is an essential part of everyday human activity. Communication defines our existence. We communicate in so many diverse ways, from sign, to voice, to speech, to written messages, via media, symbols, languages and numerous other ways. Communication is the center to understanding human life and everyday life experiences. There is so much power in communication that allows us to convey feeling, emotion, and physical thought without even having to speak a word. Communication is a powerful tool and the process of interpreting human communication is just as influential.
Human communication is not a new term; in fact it has been around for many years. There are many theories that define communication in different ways. According to Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (Eleventh Edition, 2012), “communication is a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs or behavior,” (p. 251).
According to The Theory of Human Communication written by Stephen W. Littlejohn and Karen A. Foss (Tenth Edition, 2011), one of the definitions of communication is “the process that links discontinuous parts of living world to one another,” (p. 4). Human communication can be used as a time capsule to help us interpret the past and to move towards a better future. With the rise of new technology such as the Internet, media, social media, cellphones, and satellites, these discoveries continue to revolutionize communication. Written communication specifically, can be passed from century to century, decade to decade, telling a story, leaving us to process and interpret the fascinating period that the information was communicated.
As referenced by Littlejohn and Foss (2011), there are many dimensions to communication including the intentionality, impact, judgement, and understanding. Even cross culturally and through various levels, communication cannot truly be defined in one term. As stated in The Theory of Human Communication (2011), the definition of communication is “the most overworked term in English language,” (p. 4). There truly are too many ways to define human communication.
Of all the skills we humans learn and experience through our lives, communication is the gateway. It is the means for how we are able to live and experience everyday life.
Stephen W., Littlejohn, Karen A., Foss, (Tenth Edition, 2011). The Theory of Human Communication: Waveland Press, Inc., Long Grove, IL., USA
Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, (Eleventh Edition, 2012). Merriam-Webster, Incorporated, Springfield, Massachusetts, USA.