As usual, Shakespeare said it best. "And therefore as a stranger give it welcome. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy," he wrote in "Hamlet." This quote, to me, can easily be applied to communication. Specifically, it speaks to the fact that there are so many different ways to communicate and that people, either through necessity, creativity or perhaps a bit of both, do both. Just because one way I choose to communicate is via this blog, for instance, does not mean I do not reach out to others in ways far different that this one method. This, of course, is true of everyone.
So, you may wonder, what are these many ways other than by sending a message or receiving one? Those two categories pretty much cover it all. Don't they? Yes, but what they do not do is speak to the specific methods or ways people utilize. Sure, I can rattle off some such as through facial expression, silence, laughing, telegram, music and handshakes. But to even try to come up with a definitive list would be fruitless. I refer back to Shakespeare quote as to the reason why. This reality makes the act of communication are the more daunting and complex. It also points to the notion that being good at it is not as easy as it sounds.
One reason for that is my sense that there are news ways to communicate that are introduced every day. Some five-year-old may be telling their parents right now that they are hungry in a way I or any one ever dreamed of. Or a deaf person may be telling their partner they wish to go for a walk in a totally unique way. Much like the universe itself, communication is ever-expanding. Yes, we send and receive, but to think that covers it all is short-sighted. In this way, communication as a field is not unlike astrophysics. That science is, one might say, universal. The field of communication is, too, just like the act itself.