The Evolution of Human Communication

Evolution-des-wissens” by Johanna Pung is lisenced under CC BY 3.0.

Communication allows us to interact with one another. How humans have communicated has evolved drastically through the years. From smoke signals to smartphones and everything in between we have learned that communication is key to everyday life. In the very beginning people communicated through body language and speech which was successful within small tribes.Drawings and written language then became the main source of passing on knowledge to future generations. When civilizations grew and spread over the land, people had to create a way to communicate with those who were not as close. The first recorded use of a smoke signal was used in China in 200BC to send messages across the great wall. In the 12th century, a new form of communication emerged. Carrier pigeons were used to carry messages to far away cities. By using dovecotes and lofts that were first created by Sultan Nur-ed, communication could occur thousands of miles apart.

The telegraph was first introduced in 1844. Since communication over any distance took so long Samuel Morse sent the first message via telegraph. It functioned by sending electrical signals through wires and could be translated at their destination. With the creation of the telegram came the invention of telephones. Telephones have evolved drastically to what we use today but it all started in 1876 with Alexander Graham Bell. Even though they were invented in the 1870s, telephones were not commonly used until the 1950s.

With the invention of computers, emails were the next form of communication in the 1970s. Computers were large and not easy to transport therefore the goal of making computers smaller was huge for inventors. In 1981, the first recorded public sale of a laptop occurred. Being able to easily carry around a computer made communication through distance more convenient and accessible for humans. Dial up internet became commercially available in 1992 and texting was born. Today, texting is one of the main sources of communication for humans. People hid behind a small screen instead of talking face to face.

Many feel that using smart phones and texting has become a big catch -22 of our time. With the dependence many have on texting as their main source of communication, comes a lack of important non-verbal communication such as facial expressions and body language. These things are a crucial part of everyday life and are non-existent when it comes to text messaging. Many conversations can be misconstrued via text because there is no tone of voice, body language, or context behind the words being read on the screen. People also value texting in many different ways. Many feel that if the person they are texting isn’t replying as frequently or enthusiastically then they have no interest. People rely on such a simple form of communication far too much when it comes to creating relationships with others, both romantically and not.texting has put a big halt on actually speaking to someone.

So the big question is, is society moving forward or backward, or is it even more complicated than that? Technologically, we are moving forward with the craze for iPhones and the invention of 4G. But on the other hand, the younger generations are said to have less social and communication skills because they do most of their socializing and communicating via smartphones and not face to face. Does this make them shyer when it comes to being face to face? As technological strides have brought forward new methods of communication, is spoken language at risk? These are all questions that with time, we can only hope to one day answer.



Hi, my names Stephanie Ryder and I am a junior at Keene State. I am majoring in Elementary Education and Math.

4 thoughts on “The Evolution of Human Communication

  1. I think this is an awesome blog post idea! I feel communication has evolved immensely with modern technology. People are able to connect with others all over the world today. It would be interesting to look into the evolution of language and the differences and similarities between common languages used across the world today. I’d be interested to see how humans communicated during the Stone Ages compared to now. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Communication is so key! I really love your post, but would also love to see incorporating some hyperlinks to the sources you used and putting in an attribution for the image. Also- can you go back in time a bit more? What can you find about the evolution of human communication/language (oral, written, other) going back a million or 2 years for Hominids?


  3. I LOVE this topic! I think it is so important and it’s something that our society should be discussing more. I really love how you should the progress of communication from as far back as science can gather. I think its super interesting that whether it’s smoke, pigeons, e-mails, or texts – we have a history (perhaps an affinity of some sort) of communicating without actually communicating and communicating in a way that leaves a lot of open ends for interpretation. I wonder what drove us to desire to speak with people that are so far away that we can’t actually speak with them? It’s such an interesting topic. Great job! I really enjoyed this!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, I really enjoyed reading this post. It’s amazing how far technology has come in such a short period of time. I’m stuck with a mutual opinion on the issue. For me, technology benefits the way I handle business and communicate within it. However, aside from the simplicities, it can also cause devastation and distraction. I don’t think spoken language is at risk however it will be interesting to see how we communicate globally as time progresses.

    Liked by 1 person

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