The Hierarchy of Communication

How the different grades of communication are shaping our day-to-day lives!!!

Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash

Context: So, it has been a few months that I kept wondering as to why relationships (personal or societal) are in so much strain these days? What is that core problem, that results in people parting away? After some Googling and research, I found that it was communication or the lack of it, that resulted in these stressful experiences. After pondering about it for days and months, I realized that there is this hierarchy (or, Grades if I may say) of communication/conversation, where, as we start going down the grades we start losing one sense at a time. Sense as in, our five prime senses: Sight, Sound, Smell, Taste, and Touch; although taste is debatable as to what role it would play in communication.


GRADE 1 COMMUNICATION: This form of communication involves all the 4 senses i.e. sight, sound, smell, and touch. The conversation is more intimate, the scope of misunderstanding is negligible and all four senses are actively involved in the conversation. Examples of such conversations might be the ones between couples or family members in the comfort of their home, where the parties involved know each other properly.

GRADE 2 COMMUNICATION: This form of communication involves two senses, sight, and sound. These are face-to-face conversations. Examples being, in-person conversations, or even video calls. The face tells a lot about the mood of the person, and how the sentences must be framed for better understanding. The lack of facial knowledge hinders a lot and results in misunderstanding.

GRADE 3 COMMUNICATION: This mode of communication was the fastest form of conversation up until the 2000s. It started when a Scottish Engineer named, Alexander Graham Bell invented the machine called, the telephone. Unlike Grade 2, it involved only one sense of the five prime senses, i.e. sound. The listener has to discern from the voice as to how the other person on the other end is feeling, or basically one has to eyeball the mood of the person from his/her voice.

GRADE 4 COMMUNICATION: According to my observation, this is the worst form of conversation as it involves none of the five prime senses. Earlier it was the only form of communication, until Bell’s invention. It involves writing down the message on a piece of paper (a letter) and sending it from one place to another. The reader has to gauge the mood of the person from his writing. If it is short, the person was maybe in hurry or hiding some problem. If it is long and elaborative, the person was either happy that he was running short of words or sad, that none of the words made any sense and to be accurate, he/she kept on writing.

However, right now, our day-to-day communication is all happening in Grade 4. Nowadays, all we do is text others. We even, refrain from talking over the phone. We hide behind the screen and “try” to express everything. And unlike the letters, we are running short of time (to be able to do some work, that we don’t even know); hence we use acronyms, invent words out of thin air, and whatnot. I will be writing about this form of communication in length in my upcoming articles and how this form of communication is destroying the very fabric of society.

A unique characteristic of this hierarchy is that, generally, information flows from Grade 4 to Grade 1, for better understanding and clarity of information. For example, if there is an argument is taking place in Grade 4, the parties involved with “upgrade” to Grade 3 and try to solve the argument, and if the argument is still not solved, it again gets upgraded to Grade 2, i.e. Face-To-Face conversation, where the intentions of the people involved can be properly judged, thus eliminating any form of misunderstanding.

Just expressing my thoughts. Connecting the dots in my mind.