This paper will discuss how language works.
The way we communicate on different levels. The many ways that we use language
from hand signals to gestures. How we communicate through religion and social
media. The impacts they have had on society in both the past and present. How
language and communication has evolved and continues to change and shape the
world we live in today and its impact socially on the world.
Language and Communications
Language is one of the key skills that
happened to the human race to fast track us to a higher level of cognitive
ability. This is one of the main contributors to us separating ourselves from
other animals on the planet. Communication helped in pushing language to even
higher levels as we could coordinate feelings and logic amongst our communities.
There are many different ways in which we use language from writing to
speaking. Communicating has been impacted by things like religion and social
media. By addressing these topics this will give insight to the impact on our
culture of life from the beginning to today’s world.
Is the method of human communication either
spoken or written. The idea is that language was created to help humans survive
and they needed to communicate with each other in order to hunt, farm, and
defend themselves successfully from the surrounding harsh environments. The
gestural theory states that human language developed from gestures that were
used for simple communication. This depended on similar neural systems and
regions on the cortex that are responsible for mouth and hand movements. Once
we learned language it started to evolve into something even more complex. As
history advanced it turned into writings that not only influenced people’s
ability to learn or gather knowledge but to also be used to deceive. The ripple
impacts of this have even shaped current times and even into the future with
things we can’t even grasp yet. In today’s world speaking is used across the
entire globe to do tasks as easy as ordering food to something unexplainable as
disclosing your love to someone. The impacts of how this has evolved us as a
society is truly breathtaking.
Writing is one of the cornerstones of
civilization. It has been one of, if not, the biggest things to impact the
world. Only starting in the last century when schools were formed did we use
this as a widespread form of educating according to Mr. Collins (Collins,
1986). By using this skill we are able to record history and document facts to
help portray how things happened so that future generations can obtain the
knowledge and advance even further. Writings have emotional impacts as well.
They can invoke hate by talking about topics that are controversial or hurtful.
They can also cause love to pour out over a letter sent from a deployed soldier
that they haven’t heard from. It is truly one of our biggest accomplishments.
The act of conveying information or expressing
ones thoughts and feelings spoken. Speaking is the art of communication that
has allowed us to express our wants and needs in a matter of a fraction of
seconds. This has helped in relaying information faster than ever before. When
hearing a story that speaks to you in different versions and languages. You can
translate a story and even though languages have different words to express the
same thing you can you critical thinking to come to the middle conclusion they
are looking for in the story. Writing is a great tool to pass on information
over time but speaking is for those quick moments to communicate. It fast
tracks discussions and thoughts to help facilitate what is needed to be said.
Speaking for others in society has come under criticism and in some communities
rejected. According to Mrs. Alcoff speaking for others has turned into
something that is arrogant, vain, and unethical (Alcoff, 1991-1992). Speaking
can hold emotions and impact someone’s view of how they perceive what is being
said. If an elderly woman says something while crying it can play on your
empathy making you more inclined to help or assist. Whereas if she was scolding
or hateful it could make you more defensive and less empathetic. This kind of
power over our emotions can severely change the results someone is looking for.
This is the power of speaking. The crowd when Martin Luther King Jr. spoke was
completely empathic and drove the movement of change in a nation that was on
the other side of the argument for hundreds of years. Now that’s a positive
position where as when Adolf Hitler gave his first speech it causes an inept
nation to raise to become a global power house that conquered all of Europe.
Those two speech’s had accomplish what they intended all by speaking words.
People can forget the impact speaking and how it can shift movements in
society. This form of communication helped in pushing agendas to the masses.
Communication is the imparting or exchange of
information or news. Where language uses writing and speaking to portray
communication is the act of language and how it is conveyed from person to
person. It is when a message is sent and delivered and the recipient sends one
back to the sender. Sperber and Wilson claims that language faculty is not in
itself a specifically human characteristic. It is how we have chosen to use it
just like how elephants use their trucks to pick things up (Sperber &
Wilson, 1986). Communication can be
misperceived if not sent correctly. It can be a tool to deceive or to
enlighten. Listening is just as important as speaking when sending information.
Communicating throughout history was difficult and fact checking was even
harder all the way up until the 20th century. Many people relied on
town officials, royal powers, and religious figures to provide world
information to them. You can see how this could affect people’s points of views
if the persons sending the information were spreading fallacies to the masses.
Religion is one of the constants throughout history that shaped the world and
has always been one of the best to communicate messages to the masses through
churches and other religious ceremonies.
Religion is the belief in and worship of a
supernatural controlling power, especially a personal god or gods. Religion at
its core is about communicating a message to the masses. This has culturally
impacted the planet on almost every continent. It has evoked wars and shaped
not only landscaping and world powers but also what is defined in our moral
reasoning’s. This kind of communicative impact has shaped the worlds views on
beliefs, moral compass, and sense of purpose. Has religion declined due to the
modern world’s advances? In 1988, 9 out
of 10 Americans said they have never doubted god’s existence (Pargament, 1997).
This indicates that religion is far from extinct. It seems that religion tends
to be where people sway to during times of traumatic events, death, or times of
struggle. This goes hand in hand with how the human minds psych works as it
looks for answers to help elevate struggle or times of being unsure. In many
cases this can lead to enlightenment through the message of God/Gods. In
Buddhism it is believed that existence is first experienced as suffering
(Dukkha). Within Judaism, suffering is perceived through suppressing of
freedoms. In Christianity suffering is seen through the crucifixion of Jesus
Christ (Pargament, 1997). This type of communication is prevalent through
readings and teachings. This can make
people have a sense of supremacy towards nonbelievers. This has hindered
communications and in some cases in history allowed for nations to slaughter
other cultures due to not having the same religion. To say that communication
hasn’t affected our ethics on a global scale would be naïve. It has also
improved peoples quality of life tremendously due to the principals of
afterlife. This message that has been sent for thousands of years has made it
easier for many to live very dangerous or impoverished lives and still have a
sense of worth. Communicating a message that has lasted for thousands of years
and is still heavily followed in our age today is truly awe-inspiring.
Social Media is an online
platform which people use to build social networks or social relations. This
has been a huge new discovery in the 21st century. As of January
2009, the online social networking application Facebook registered more than
175 million active users. To put this into perspective it is double the size of
Germany’s population (Kaplan, 2009). It
has shaped how we communicate on a regular basis from talking to friends, to
work relations, or even to how we get our news. On January 17, 2001, during the
impeachment trial of Philippine President Joseph Estrada, Loyalists in the
Philippine Congress voted to set aside key evidence against him. Less than two
hours after that decision thousands of Filipinos started on social media about
this immoral injustice and organized a protest that ultimately ended in his
impeachment (Shirky, 2001). This was the first time in history social media
caused a leader to be forced out of position. This kind of power that the
masses have obtained to being able to communicate in real time across the globe
has been huge in how we handle social issues. Shirky says “treating the free
time of the world’s educated citizenry as an aggregate, a kind of cognitive
surplus”. As much as it has helped us connect socially it has also left us with
a hole in our empathetic thinking. By not seeing the other person on the
computer it has left many with a view of dehumanizing who they are talking too.
No more are the days of thinking critically or evaluating what is being said it
has led to a shoot at the hip mentality that is derived from raw emotion. This
new way of thinking has created a less empathetic society and more of a mob
mentality. Many are starting to get rid of social media to try to rekindle face
to face conversations to swing progress back to the human conversation rather
than robot type of logic.
Language and communication
has helped us evolve both socially and mentally. It has created the ability to
obtain knowledge and facts from all over the world through the different types.
It has also shaped the world and pushed us into being less empathetic. While
the good outweighs the bad the weight of its impact is one that should be
considered. Whether it be religions message or social media ease of access to
everyone’s thoughts and emotions communication is thriving and will be our
primary way of getting information for the foreseeable future.
The impact of this paper is to inform how
language and communication both shaped the world and shape how we perceive each
other every day. Speaking and writing will continue to be the main ways in
which we communicate. Religion and social media will have lasting impacts for
years to come. How we perceive these and using critical thinking in assessing
the positives of these tools will be in how we advance forward.