I think communication can be separated into three different categories: visual, audio and text based. From my observation, visual and text based conversations seem to be the most popular forms at the moment, but are they necessarily the best?
Audio communication is the most difficult form in my opinion. This is because I usually like to have a visual connection when communicating. This probably explains why I rarely call anyone unless it is urgent. Although some may see this is probably a deeper form of communication compared to an instant message, as you can hear the other person’s voice, I feel that you don’t get the full picture as you are not able to see them. Therefore what they sound like may not be a true reflection of who they are or what they’re thinking.
Visual communication covers meeting someone face to face or over a video chat. I think this is the most personal and intimate form of communication, as you are able to hear their voice and see their emotions physically and so extends on audio communication. Sometimes, when communicating to someone in another form, it may be difficult to detect the emotions they are feeling. This might be why very personal conversations are often had face to face. However it is not always easy to communicate this way, as with interviews. There is the pressure of time when communicating this way, and hesitations or mistakes cannot be easily fixed or disguised like with text based communication.
Text based communication covers some of the most popular forms of communication nowadays, such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter. I think the reason for its popularity is due to its simplicity and practicality. Most people can send a message on one of these social media platforms from anywhere and at any time. Also, as many people almost always have their phone with them, they receive messages pretty much as soon as the other person sends it. However I think that due to the ease of sending an instant message, communication this way has lost a lot of its emotion. Of course, people are still able to have deep conversations this way, but quite often when we receive a message we might in the middle of something else and we will then only spend a split second to read and reply to it. Ask someone what the last message they received was about without looking at their phone and they probably don’t remember, or they probably at least need time to remember.
This does not mean that I think text based communication is the worst form though. This is because it also covers letters. Letters or notes are often used in films to portray a very meaningful form of communication, especially when they’re hand written. This is probably because hand writing a letter takes the most time out of all the forms of communication, and also because it is often clear how much time and effort someone spends on it by their handwriting, amount of writing and contents. Perhaps being a physical object also makes it more special. However the reason I think text based communication can be the best form of communication is because it never goes away if you don’t want it to. If you receive a letter or even an instant message, you are able to keep it forever and, in essence, a hard-copy of the memory is saved. Even memories of the most special face to face or phone conversations can fade, but re-reading a conversation in text form can reignite a memory.