Communication is the passing of information from a source (sender) to destination (receiver) who receives the message and decodes it to get the meaning of the message (Khalighi and Uysal 2014, pp.2231). Communication is a necessity in our lives as life would be meaningless without communication.in our daily lives, communication is all around us. It may be in the form of what we hear, see or even what we depict. Communication takes various forms, they include: interpersonal communication, intrapersonal communication etcetera. Other living things such as plants and animal s also communicate. For communication to occur, there has to be a transmission medium (Reinke, Gerlach, Tarafdar, and Stock 2016, pp 23). This is a necessity where communication is mainly through sound. Other key elements of communication include message, sender, receiver, source, destination and also feedback. Other methods or ways of communication also exist. They include use of gestures, body movements, visible changes and even symbols.
Communication theory is a theory that deals with the technology of the transmission of information (as through the written word or a computer) between people, people and machines, or machines and other machines (Dainton and Zelley 2017, pp.34). It could also be defined as a field of information theory and mathematics that studies the technical process of information and the process of human communication.
Recently, I was involved in a communication event where my friends (Alex and Tom) and I we were discussing on drug and substance abuse. I was of the idea that drug abuse has more negative effects than positive though my friends thought otherwise. I told them that my reason for saying that was because people who are always involved in drug and substance abuse had a hard time quitting. Drugs abuse makes you weak and at worse scenarios can lead to death. My friends felt uncomfortable as they never liked people talking about drugs since they involved themselves in drug and substance abuse. Alex was willing to quit the habit but had a hard time doing so he told me that he feared what his friends would say about him and was not sure how the he would start and felt unsafe talking to people about his life. I told him he had to take a step of faith and make his own decision since it is a decision that is going to change his life forever. I felt that all he needed was an extra push. He confessed that the drug and substance abuse made him easily irritable and could result to violence in some cases.
At a certain point, it almost cost him his job due to beating up a colleague at his place of work (Manojlovich, Harrod, Holtz, Hofer, Kuhn and Krein 2015, pp.61).I suggested that he should first talked to his parents who were more than happy to find him a counselor. They even offered to pay all the expenses he incurred during the sessions. His mother was so happy that upon hearing the news she broke down into tears and hugged him for a long period of time. On the other hand, Tom had no say in the discussion. He was all quiet but attentive listening to all we had to say. He never made any interruptions or asked questions. At the end, Alex thanked me and said that he would put all we discussed into practice. When the discussion was over, we all went our different ways.
From the above event, various communication theories and concepts were employed. First of all, the key elements for communication to occur were can be seen. i.e. the sender, message and receiver. Facial expressions also played a great part in emphasizing the message as they all needed to be serious since the issue that was being addressed was critical. It is seen that my friend broke down into tears while explaining what a difficult time he was having and also when all his family and friends supported him in all ways that they could. When Alex was talking, I used gestures such as nodding to indicate situations where I was in agreement with him. Behavioral changes played a key role in the communication of both parties. This is seen where Tom was not asking questions and remained silent all through indicating lack of interest in all that we were saying. I would put more emphasis on certain areas as I would use a high intonation to ensure that the Alex took them seriously especially procedures to follow to quit drug habits. Alex also employed active listening skills as it can be seen from his posture and other environmental factors such as noise did not seem to draw his attention from our discussion. Also he could ask questions where he felt the need for clarification. This is an indicator that he was actively listening and willing to be helped.
Feedback can either be positive or negative depending on how the receiver of the message will interpret (Stacks and Salwen 2014, pp.89). In our scenario, a positive feedback can be seen as the Alex was happy to start the sessions and in order to quit his drug habits. He even thanked me for taking this journey with him and providing unconditional support that words couldn’t thank me enough.
Indeed, communication is an essence in our lives as it enables us to express how we feel and get the help we need (Barnlund 2017, pp.47). It also helps us enjoy each other’s company where we share and crack jokes with friends and family.
Barnlund, D.C., 2017. A transactional model of communication. In Communication theory (pp. 47-57). Routledge.
Dainton, M. and Zelley, E.D., 2017. Applying communication theory for professional life: A practical introduction. Sage publications.
Khalighi, M.A. and Uysal, M., 2014. Survey on free space optical communication: A communication theory perspective. IEEE communications surveys & tutorials, 16(4), pp.2231-2258.
Manojlovich, M., Harrod, M., Holtz, B., Hofer, T., Kuhn, L. and Krein, S.L., 2015. The use of multiple qualitative methods to characterize communication events between physicians and nurses. Health communication, 30(1), pp.61-69.
Reinke, K., Gerlach, G., Tarafdar, M. and Stock, R.M., 2016. ICT-based communication events as triggers of stress: a mixed methods study.
Stacks, D.W. and Salwen, M.B. eds., 2014. An integrated approach to communication theory and research. Routledge.