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Theories of Human Communication, the social media and the Arab spring - Essay Example

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Full name Instructor Course Date Theories of Human Communication Social Media and the Arab Spring-An Analysis Human communication has undergone a sea change since the past decade. A ‘more universal’ form of communication has now emerged, crossing lingual, social, cultural, continental and even legal borders…
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Download file to see previous pages The first wave of such a change was felt with the advent of mobile phones and the short messaging services (SMS) offered by them. Electronic media like e-mail and instant messaging followed next. Just when it seemed that communication couldn’t get any better, social media and networking via the internet took over, bringing people from every nook and corner of the world together onto a single platform. Though the world has been called a ‘global village’ since the beginning of this century, it was in this decade that the label served its true purpose. Human communication has attained a new definition, and is now at its full force through social media. Social media has been the major driving force behind the Arab uprising that is reverberating in the Arab world today, and it is only through social media that people are at freedom to voice their thoughts and fight for what they deserve. According to S.F. Scudder, "All living entities, beings and creatures communicate. They communicate through movements, sounds, reactions, physical changes, gestures, languages, breath, etc”1. This statement is a part of the theory of communication and is known as the ‘Universal Communication Law’. Indeed, communication is an integral part of living, and it is impossible to survive without it. Communication models and their relevance in today’s times Adler and Rodman, in their insightful book, Understanding Human Communication, describe two different modes of communication, namely linear and transactional. According to the linear communication model, “communication is like giving an injection: a sender encodes ideas and feelings into some sort of message and then conveys them to a receiver who decodes them” (12). Face-to-face contact and other conventional channels like writing are included in this form of communication. The transactional model of communication is more fluidic and relational. There is a “simultaneous sending and receiving” of messages. This kind of communication includes mass media2 and social interaction. Face-to-face communication is decreasing rapidly, with the advent of social networking and electronic means of communication. In fact, many major surveys have pointed out that those who are more prone to the use of social networks are less likely to maintain face-to-face interactions in daily life. This brings us to the relevance of the linear mode of communication. While it is still a necessity in daily commute, human communication in recent times is largely based on the transactional model. Everyone is turning towards video conferencing, instant messaging, tweeting, and social networking in order to “stay in touch” with acquaintances. How social media defines our lives today An assessment of the impact of social media, in recent times, indicates that a majority of the population depends on the internet for most of their daily needs. As described by Adler and Rodman: Until recently, most social support came from personal acquaintances: friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, and so on. In the last ?fteen years, though, there has been an explosion of “virtual communities” in which strangers meet online to share interests and concerns, and to gain support from one another on virtually every problem. The most popular support topics include medical conditions, eating disorders, sexual orientation, divorce, shyness, addictions, and loneliness (140). As is evident from this scenario, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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