Communication is the most significant and complex part of our existence. It’s how we express ourselves, interact with others, and comprehend information shared with us. Throughout the centuries, humans have consistently advanced communication methods to make our lives simpler and more convenient. As technology has progressed to provide us with different channels to connect with each other, styles have evolved from primitive cave drawings all the way to online chatbots and automated phone calls. To better understand communication, let’s take a look at the basic types and explore how communication styles have changed over time.
There are four basic types of communication:
- Verbal communication is the use of speech to relay information, which can be done through various channels, such as face-to-face, over the phone, and video conferencing. Depending on the information being shared, verbal communication may be preferred. As with all communication types, it’s important to be mindful of others who may have impairments or different learning preferences, which may affect which type you use when communicating with them.
- Non-verbal communication includes cues we use to speak to each other without using words, such as body language, facial expressions, and eye contact. In many scenarios, we’ve learned how to pick up on these cues in order to gauge interest in the conversation and energy levels.
- Visual communication refers to messages that can be seen, such as images, graphs, and models. Although different than the forms we currently use, cave paintings and smoke signals were often used in prehistoric times and serve as the first uses of visual communication. Today, we often use visuals as aids when presenting information or data that’s hard to describe or understand.
- Written communication uses written words to convey information. Written communication used to mainly focus on paper letters (Persians created the first network of pigeon messengers in the 5th century!), but it has become increasingly popular with the use of digital channels, such as email, instant messengers, and online forums.
Communication is always evolving.
Technology has redefined communication. The internet created countless means for us to connect. What started as inland letters evolved into landline phones and dial-up internet to smartphones and social media. Now, we communicate quicker with more convenience and easier delivery, but it’s important to look back to truly understand how far we’ve come. Check out the timeline below to go back in time and see just how much we’ve evolved.
It might feel overwhelming to keep up with ever-changing technology, but no matter your preferred communication type and style, we have you covered at PUBLIQ. Whether you choose speaking to someone in person by phone, self-serving using our online customer support portal – the Hub – or emailing, we’re readily available to help you.