The Written and Spoken Word Aren’t the Only Effective Forms of Communication

You probably heard it all growing up: books are better than film, you can’t write a movie and have it be as good as a book about the same story, and avoid television because it’s bad for your eyes and brain. Movies that are terribly directed receive criticism from lovers and haters of the medium alike, yet books of equally horrendous composition seem to just dim away from the spotlight, or are still praised, just not as highly, because, after all, they are a book. And books are good, don’t question the value of any book. In school, I always hated this attitude from teachers and even some fellow students. It seemed that using a film or visual form of art could never be as valuable as a form of communication as a book or an article.

Within all mediums of communication, there is the ability to be vague, and the ability to be clear and concise. What most of my teachers of past praised about the linguistic forms of communication were the fact that language has the ability to be effective at communicating a message in a much more concise and efficient way than other forms of communication, such as film, photography, and graphics. I unfortunately have to refute those negative ideas about visual communication. Visual communication can be just as comprehensible as linguistic forms, just as linguistic communication can be vague and up to interpretation if it’s speaker intends them to be.

As this attitude carried on throughout my schooling career, I felt misunderstood by many teachers who focused purely on reading and writing and never on visual or kinesthetic forms of learning. This isn’t to say that I didn’t often enjoy reading or writing, but there definitely were times when explanation through a graphic or learning by experimentation would have been a better option.

Visual forms of communication are usually more effective at communicating things that involve feeling. Thus, they are typically used by advertisers to help convey a feeling. The thing is that some ads are effective using just visuals, whereas others can still be effective by using purely linguistics. However, many ads, and other forms of informative communication, prefer to incorporate both visual and linguistic forms of communication to most effectively deliver their message.

Visual forms of communication simply shouldn’t be shrugged off by anyone who states that visuals don’t communicate. There is a reason that commercials and social media ads are some of the most effective forms of advertisements alive. There’s also a reason that people spend time visually looking at most products before buying them instead of just reading descriptions. The best way to effectively communicate is to use both visual and linguistic forms. On their own they can be effective, but together they are both effectively and conclusive. Nobody should praise one over the other.

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