Hypothesis: The ultimate purpose of communication is truth in peace.
- Communication- The exchange of thoughts, messages, or information, as by speech, signals, writing, or behavior
- Truth-Conformity to fact or actuality
- Peace-Freedom from quarrels and disagreement; harmonious relations
- Understanding- A reconciliation of differences; a state of agreement
Principally: In it's home... truth is absolute. On earth... truth can only be fully exposed, actualized and understood via the collective. Peace presupposes two or more unique parties and implies the intentional establishment of unity between them. Communication is the vehicle. Understanding truth is the equalizer. Peace is the result.
Biblically: Genesis 11 ushered us into the Era of the modern burden of communication. It began with man all speaking one language and being very powerful. Man was 'gettin somewhere' so they built a tower to make sure everyone knew they were great. God said in verses 6-9
"One people, one language; why, this is only a first step. No telling what they'll come up with next—they'll stop at nothing! Come, we'll go down and garble their speech so they won't understand each other." Then God scattered them from there all over the world. And they had to quit building the city. That's how it came to be called Babel, because there God turned their language into "babble." From there God scattered them all over the world.
When communication was easy... it was so powerful that it corrupted us. We used it for selfish gain instead of the exposition of truth which, if collectively embraced, would have led to peace. Eventually when the New Testament church was being established, Paul explained how different we all are. Yet he still used "unity speak" in which he called us a house of living stones... called to live together in unity...functioning beautifully as one body. A pretty picture yes, but it does come with a God-ordained tension in it's outplaying, requiring us to communicate to achieve the goal.
On the streets: I disagree with Marshall McLuhan's assertion that "the medium is the message". Principally, it's an acceptance of the weak mind of man... and it's inability to discern between the pedestrian (Medium) and true authority (Message). It's true that communication DOES often play out this way... but "the medium is the message" is cynical, hopeless and gives undue weight to variables. The ultimate purpose of the communication is loftier.
The "greater-good" merits of the social media revolution are still very much in question, But never has how a society communicates with each other changed so rapidly and fundamentally... while being so reliant on the medium.
We've all seen it used to find truth and bring peace just as many times as we've seen a social revolution medium be a detrimental. What makes the different is the intention... not the medium. When some ignorantly sits in a meeting (two or more unique parties who differ, coming together in an attempt come to a consensus) and texts someone else... communication IS happening... just not the optimal kind. The texter is saying, "I don't care about discovering the truth in this moment with you or coming to any consensus". It has nothing to do with their cell phone. It has to do with whether or not the 2 parties use what ever medium is required to make the message happen and communication WORK. It takes work, focus and intention to allow communication to be vehicle it was designed to be.
Conclusion: We are always communicating because we HAVE to, to find the truth and unity we need to be able to achieve maximally in life. We must intentionally choose to beneficially communicate with each other as it is the vehicle that leads to freedom and peace.