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We live in a world of paradox, where there is both peace and tension, where silence and dialogue happen simultaneously. This is the world I know, the world that makes sense to me, the world that never ceases to amaze me.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Why do we need to study communication?

Most of our waking hours are spent communicating than doing anything else. We think, we talk to ourselves, we converse with other people, we listen to radio, we watch TV, we surf the Internet, write emails, participate in fora, etc. As the Palo Alto group said in their famous dictum, “One cannot NOT communicate.”

This dictum is indeed quite true. Communication is central to all humans. All aspects of our daily lives are affected by communication. But since communication has become part of our daily activities and routine, most people have taken communication for granted. Many people, especially those in the hard sciences, regard communication as a trivial phenomenon and find it irrelevant to study communication systematically.

But now that we are living in the information/knowledge era, communication has found its rightful place and has gained immense popularity. With globalization and the fast changing technology, the field of communication has been redesigned and redefined. Communication has become more essential than ever.

Communication has many functions in our daily lives: we need communication for socialization; to send out information; to educate people; to persuade someone; and for entertainment.

George Herbert Mead (1934) theorized that humans are talked into humanity. He meant that human beings gain personal identity through communicating with others. Mead theorized that we first see ourselves through the eyes of others, so their messages are extremely important in forming the foundations of self-concepts.

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