Students and scholars of communication now ask the question: What will the future hold for communication studies, and what will the next big revolution bring? That question has yet to be answered, though many theories exist. Perhaps the next leap forward will occur in the communication of emotion, as the limbic brain (or part of the brain responsible for the way humans feel) has no capacity for language. Will future technology allow people to sense and translate emotions from person to person, allowing humanity to empathize with one another more efficiently? Perhaps the next big advance will resemble telepathy, allowing individuals to transmit thought without the need for language. Today, however, verbal communication, whether vocally through the act of speaking or in writing, remains the primary means of sharing information.
Regardless of what the future may hold, everyone now lives in an exciting time of flux and dynamic change. People now have vast oceans of information at their fingertips, and though this provides them with a myriad of possibilities, the potential for disaster coexists. To navigate the seas of information overload, individuals must take a step back and observe such changes from a more mindful, objective perspective, rather than allowing themselves to get caught up like rats in a psychology experiment (see B. F. Skinner), mindlessly clicking away on links generated by an algorithm that knows their deepest secrets. As with the alphabet, the printing press, and the Industrial Revolution, humanity will eventually grow accustomed to this change in due process, but only if it charts a careful, rational course. Winners and losers will emerge from the dust as it settles, and those with the impetus for the study of the complexities of human communication will most likely remain unscathed.
Visit www.google.com/images, type “communication model” into the search field, and then hit enter. Scroll through a few pages’ worth of images and take note of the staggering number of diverse visual depictions of communication. Why do you think are there so many ways of explaining the same “basic” concept?