Updated May 10, 2023
What is Written Communication?
Written communication is one of the oldest and most popular forms of communication. It involves using the written word to convey information from one person to another. While written communication has been around for centuries, it is still an important form of communication today, especially with the advent of technology that allows people to communicate with each other from anywhere in the world. But when there is an ongoing debate between written and oral communication, who wins? What are the criteria to judge how to send and receive messages properly? To simplify this solution, we will examine some advantages and disadvantages of written communication.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Written Communication
This comparison would give you a better idea of which mode of communication suits well in which kind of situation.
Advantages of Written Communication
There are the following advantages of written communication:
- Permanent Record: One of the biggest advantages of written communication is that it provides a permanent record of communicated information. This means the information can be referred to at any time, which can be useful for legal, historical, or reference purposes. So, nobody can accuse you of “not saying or saying” a particular phrase.
- Clarity: Written communication allows for greater transparency and precision than verbal communication. This is because the writer can take the time to choose the right words and logically organize their thoughts, resulting in a more accurate and compelling Oral communication leads to awkwardness and needing more time to comprehend the situation.
- Wide Audience Reach: Written communication can be disseminated to a wide audience through various means such, as email, letters, reports, and social media. This allows for a message to be communicated to many people simultaneously. In other forms of communication, the message travels through a grapevine, which may lead to rumors.
- Fewer Time Constraints: Unlike verbal communication, written communication is not constrained by time limits. This allows the writer to take as much time as needed to formulate and organize their thoughts before communicating them. This is especially beneficial if you have to make an important work decision.
- Formality: Written communication is often more formal than verbal communication, which can be useful in professional or official settings. Formality can help convey professionalism, authority, and respect for the recipient. In oral communication, your seniors might take your conversation otherwise.
Disadvantages of Written Communication
There are the following disadvantages of written communication:
- Lack of Feedback: One of the main disadvantages of written communication is that it needs more feedback, which is inherent in verbal communication. This means that the writer may need help to gauge the recipient’s reaction or level of understanding and may therefore miss the opportunity to clarify or expand upon certain points. (advantages and disadvantages of written communication.)
- Time-consuming: While written communication allows for greater precision and clarity, producing a well-written message can be time-consuming. This can be a disadvantage when time is of the essence, such as in emergencies. You can only take part of the day to form the right message.
- Less Personal: Written communication can be less personal than verbal communication. This is because the recipient needs to have the benefit of hearing the tone of the writer’s voice or seeing their body language, which can convey important emotional and social cues. This can lead to misunderstandings and wrong impressions.
- Misinterpretation: Written communication can be easily misinterpreted due to the need for more context or tone. This can lead to confusion or misunderstandings, which can be difficult to rectify once the message has been sent. Sending and receiving messages creates a definite barrier, which isn’t present in the case of oral communication.
- Limited to Literate Population: Finally, written communication is limited to those who are literate and can read and write. This can be a disadvantage when the message needs to be communicated to a large audience, including those needing more literacy skills.
In conclusion, there are plenty of advantages and disadvantages of written communication. While it allows for a permanent record, clarity, wide audience reach, fewer time constraints, and formality, it can also lack feedback, be time-consuming, less personal, lead to misinterpretation, and be limited to the literate population. Therefore, it is important to consider the context, audience, and purpose of the message before deciding whether written communication is best.
Every form of communication comes with its own set of pros and cons. What you need to do is select the form that best suits the situation. There are plenty of times when oral communication would be a safe choice, while others when written communication would be the best way to go.
We hope that this EDUCBA information on “Advantages and Disadvantages of Written Communication” was beneficial to you. You can view EDUCBA’s recommended articles for more information