What Is Communication?

Communication is a way of sharing information. There are three main types of communication: written, verbal and nonverbal. Each form has its benefits and drawbacks.

Verbal communication is the use of words in speech to convey a message. One person speaks and the other listens and understands the meaning of the spoken words. Verbal communication is also called oral communication.

Written communication is the use of written words to convey a message. Properly written, the words are read and easily understood. Written communication can be in the form of stories, memos, letters and manuals.

Nonverbal communication involves studying and observing a person and inferring a meaning from the observations. Facial expressions, body language and tone of voice are all examples of nonverbal communication.

Scientists believe humans uttered their first words around 100,000 years ago. As language continued to develop, people started using symbols as a way of communicating and archiving their lives. Writing emerged around 5,000 years ago. This type of communication evolution remains observable in children all over the world. Children first begin using words to communicate at around age 2, and shortly after they begin speaking, they begin drawing. The final step of communication evolution takes place when they learn to write.