My professor of Mass Communication gave us a question to answer for our quiz in school and it went like this, ‘How can you make an effective dual communication?’. It was very interesting the moment I read it, but when I gave it some thought. . . isn’t a conversation supposed to be two-way? Is there even a such thing as single-way communication? Or is a conversation present when only one party is active?

Well, I believe communication always takes place when there are at least two participating parties. At least one receiver of the message and one sender. That is the only time conversation is present. As I give it a little more thought, I tried to answer the real point of his question, how to make the conversation effective?

There are factors to consider to ensure the effectiveness of a conversation. The approach itself is one, of course if you are the sender of the message, you would like to deliver it to someone in a manner that he will understand. For example, using a language he could understand. Next is the medium, think of a way you can convey your message to the person in the most convenient way, whether it be by talking, by actions, by drawing or whatever best fits. Sometimes messages are better interpreted by lines instead of words.

The next factor I think is the place, for example, we don’t talk business in the living-room or on the bus (normally). Choosing the right place to have a conversation is one thing.

So as I was writing the last few lines of my essay, I thought of how we really converse today. I thought of the word communication for no particular reason and the picture that comes to my mind is a lowercase letter “f” inside a blue, smooth-cornered-square, glossy background. I may be thinking of Facebook too much or most of our conversations happen on social media.

We constantly converse while we are participating in social media. Now that I relate social media to the factors I have just presented, they can all be wrong in the terms of social media connectivity.

First, you don’t have to worry quite so much about the language, the internet comes with translations, you can talk with your native tongue and speak to another person from another country with another language and be able to understand each other. Though there are of course limits to the automated translation tools.

The most convenient difference is the matter of place, you don’t have to go to a fancy restaurant, an eerie presentation room, you don’t even have to be where the person you are talking to is, social media closes the gap between you by providing a perpetual virtual place where you can meet.

Of course the things I just said also apply to the internet in general, but nowadays, where people are more or less living on Facebook, the first place they go to after they sit down at their desktop is Facebook or Twitter, or some other social networking site.