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Essay on “Role of Communication Today” Complete Essay for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Role of Communication Today


Outlines: Man has always communicated. Early man of thousands of years ago had not yet developed language and writing. He was able to express himself, however, through symbols of sounds and gestures. He grunted, screamed, frowned, waved his arms, and even used physical force to make his meaning known to others. Such a form of communication was very limited. It was difficult to transmit the exact meaning of a gesture or sound. There was no organised method for recording information for future use.

As primitive man roamed the land, he discovered a new way to communicate. During his travels, he learned to leave landmarks such as piles of stone or cuts on trees along trails and hunting grounds to guide him on return trips. Developing the ability to control fire, he created smoke signals that alerted others to danger or food. Watching the sky at night, man noticed the NH cycle of the moon and the recurrence of state clusters. By making a notches on sticks and stones, man could keep track of days, months, and seasons. In this new form of communication, symbols had  more exact meaning; and the symbols could be left for others to use in the future.

Sensual Communication

Hearing : Through his ears, man can receive a message by listening to sounds.

Touching : Through pressure on his skin, man can receive a message informing him of the size, texture, and temperature of an object.

Seeing : Through his eyes, man can receive a message by seeing it.

Smelling : Through his nose, man can receive a message by smelling it.

Tasting : Through the nerve ending (taste buds) on his tongue, man can receive a message informing him of the quality and purpose of the substance of his senses.

Man is a creature of knowledge and ideas. His knowledge and ideas have produced great industries, vast transportation systems, enormous scientific advancements, global commerce, and instantaneous (fast) communications around the world. The achievements that benefit us so much in our modern civilization, are presented by delicate information systems of sight and sound, through which we can transfer our knowledge and ideas to our fellowmen.

Defined simply, communication is the process of sending and receiving information. The word. “communication” comes from the Latin word “common”, meaning to impart, transmit, pass along, or make known. When man communicates, he shares his own knowledge, attitudes, and skills with others in the form of gestures, spoken or written messages.

Man has to decide how to send his message. Human beings can only receive message through one or more of their five senses of hearing, seeing, touching, smelling and tasting.

For man’s knowledge, to be understood exactly by another, he must change his knowledge into commonly understood symbols such as the alphabet, spoken language, or signs that can be seen, heard or felt. A symbol is a visible sign of something invisible. To be of value, the symbol whether a gesture, sound, or object, must have the same meaning to the person or society to whom the message is transmitted. For example, a light slap on the back is recognised in our society as a sign of approval or friendship. In another land, this gesture might not be understood at all. Many symbols stand for something other than their actual appearance. However, to many people they have become a symbol for danger and death.

Man needs to communicate in order to sustain (keep up) his daily activity. Communications help him increase his knowledge so that he can develop and maintain his social institutions of government, education, religion, family and economic system. These institutions make up his civilization. The spread of higher levels of civilization among all men depends on the communication of knowledge. New advancements in medicine, science, business, and industry reach all corners of the globe through the exchange of knowledge.

Man thinks and feels deeply about his institutions because each one of them fulfils a human need. Education enables man to receive valuable information that widens his interests, knowledge, and abilities. The family meets man’s need for him and human relationship. The economic system makes it possible for man to earn a living so he can buy the basics of life, such as food, shelter and clothing. Religion provides for man’s need for spiritual well-being.

Because man has a role in each of his social institutions, it is important that a common bond exists between him and his society. Communication is that bond.

Without communications, our society might very well collapse. The book was written to help create a better understanding if the communication process and a variety of communication systems, and to inform young men and women of exciting career opportunities.

The spectrum of communication in contemporary society defies description because of the immense variety and range of its components. It includes : human capacities; simple communication tools and media serving individuals, groups and masses; complex infrastructures and systems; advanced technologies, materials and “whines which collect, produce, carry, receive, store and retrieve messages; innumerable individuals and institutional partners and participants in the communications world.

The symbols which make up message, and the means that carry them, are simply two faces of one reality. Symbols, gestures, numbers, words, pictures, all are in themselves a means of communication, and the medium, be it a hand, printed page, radio or television, not only carries the message but is simultaneously another symbol of communication. Hence communication is an all-, encompassing “global” phenomenon, which in essence cannot be reduced to, or described in terms of isolated, independent parts, each element being an integral part of the whole. But all these elements are present—obviously in different proportions and with different significance and impact—in every part of the world.

(a) Signs and Words : Since times immemorial, the human race has used primitive, simple forms of communication, which have been enhanced, extended, refined, and are still in use today in all societies, despite the continuous invention of new technologies and the increasing sophistication and complexity of interaction between people. To be able to externalise their feelings and needs, individuals first used their bodies to communicate. “Body language” and other non-verbal languages while being used for millennia in traditional societies for a variety of purposes, have lost none of their validity and importance today, despite their obvious limitations. Hence message and ideas are also transmitted in many countries by means of itinerant dance and mime groups, puppet shows and other folk media, which serve not only to entertain but to influence attitudes and behaviour.

Images often precede words, but language marks an immense step forward in human communication, especially in the ability to memorize and pass on knowledge, and in the expression of relatively complex conceptions. It is not, indeed, the only tool in interpersonal communication, but it is indispensable; speech still has power which cannot be replaced either by technology or by the mass media. It is the life-blood of innumerable networks of contact.

In communities where isolation or smallness of scale, or in’ deed persistent illiteracy, have encouraged in the survival of tradition, speech, performance and example remain the most common, if not the only means of transmitting information. While in indusrialized countries, traditional channels for direct communication have virtually disappeared as source of information, except in the most isolated areas, the same cannot be said for other interpersonal communication networks, which include provision or exchange of information in the family or extended family, in the neighbourhood, in communities and ethnic groups, in various clubs and professional associations, and in conferences and meetings which are conveyed by governments, by organisations of all kinds, or by commercial enterprises. All those and many others provide occasions to ex-change information, educate on issues, ventilate grievances, resolve conflicts, or assist in opinion-forming and decision-making on  matters of common interest to individuals, groups or society as a whole. These forms of interpersonal communication are sometimes over-looked by professional observers and investigators, whose focus is narrowed predominantly to the mass media, as the purveyors of news, facts, ideas, and indeed of all vital information.

(b) Languages : The number of languages used in verbal communication is high, with some 3,500 identified throughout the world. However, while speech is common to all societies and writing is not, the number of written languages is much lower, with one estimate indicating not more than 500.

Over the centuries, the course of history has led to steady expansion in the use of some languages. Some of these languages have a predominant place in the circulation of information, programmes and materials. It is estimated that there are at least 16 languages which are spoken by more than 50 million people; the family of Chinese languages, English, Russian, Spanish, Hindi, Portuguese, Bengali, German, Japanese, Arabic, Urdu, French, Malay-Bahasa, Italian, Telugu, Tamil.

The proliferation of a great number of languages and dialects had numerous historical, ethnological, religious and social reasons. But in the course of time, the creation of new nation states, coupled with hegemonic pressures and imperialist domination over large parts of the world led frequently to linguistic modifications in many countries, and the gradual disappearance of some dialects and local patois. Conversely, colonialism ensured that new European languages were spread right across the globe. Assimilating tendencies over small and weak cultures are still continuing. The multiplicity of languages, each the incarnation of long traditions, is an  expression of the world’s cultural richness and diversity.

c) Reading and Writing : If language, both spoken and written, is the Primary code of human communication, illiteracy is the major obstacle to the development of communication. The lack of reading and wring skills drastically limits the expansion of a person’s overall capacities and abilities.

There are several reasons for illiteracy millions speak non, transcribed languages; many live in environments, and particularly conditions where written communication is not yet necessary or available; many more have not had, in their childhood or adulthood, the chance to learn to read and write; some acquired that skill but reverted, for various reasons, to illiteracy during their lifetime; restricted resources hamper the establishment of widespread literacy programmes; there is often a lack of political will at decision-making levels, to step up efforts to eradicate illiteracy.

Illiteracy exists to a greater or lesser extent in almost all countries, although it is difficult to define precisely or to determine its worldwide dimensions. The concept of literate person varies from country to country, ranging from the ability to decipher a simple test to the completion of full primary schooling, or to the ability of using literacy skills for “functional” purposes in working, civic and social life. However, indicative estimates are available to provide generally acceptable national, regional and global pictures of illiteracy around the world.

The latest available figures and estimates show a continuing reduction in the illiteracy rates among the world’s population aged 15 years and over, which dropped form 40 per cent in 1950 to 36 per cent around 1960, and which should fall from 32.4 per cent in 1970 to 28.9 per cent in 1980, and to 25.7 per cent in 1990.

In many countries, there is a marked disparity between the proportions of male and female literates. Tradition often dictates that women should confine their interests to the domestic sphere, should not compete with men for work except at an unskilled manual level, and therefore, should have no need to read and write. Girls sometimes receive a briefer and inferior education, compared to boys, and are expected to prepare themselves only for marriage.

It has been suggested that illiteracy is not so great a social and cultural evil, since new media can bring even illiterate people into the orbit of communication by the use of spoken word and image. But it is evident—without denying the power of audio-visual means of communication—that language, in both its spoken and written forms, is an irreplaceable way of communication.


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