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Geheime Korrespondenz (secret correspondence), by Carl von Bergen
A headstone message in the Jerusalem British World War I Cemetery on Mount Scopus

A message is a discrete unit of communication intended by the source for consumption by some recipient or group of recipients. A message may be delivered by various means, including courier, telegraphy, or an electronic bus. A message can be the content of a broadcast. An interactive exchange of messages forms a conversation.[1] The consumption of the message relies on how the recipient interprets the message, there are times where the recipient contradicts the intention of the message which results in a boomerang effect. [2] Message fatigue is another outcome recipients can obtain if a message is conveyed too much by the source. [3]

One example of a message is a press release, which may vary from a brief report or statement released by a public agency to commercial publicity material. [4] Another example of a message is how they are portrayed to a consumer via an advertisement.



Roles in human communication


In communication between humans, messages can be verbal or nonverbal:

  • A verbal message is an exchange of information using words. Examples include face-to-face communication, telephone calls, voicemails, emails, etc.
  • A nonverbal message is communicated through actions or behaviors rather than words, such as conscious or unconscious body language.

The phrase "send a message" or "sending a message" is also used for actions taken by a party to convey that party's attitude towards a certain thing. For example, a government that executes people who commit acts of treason is sending a message that treason will not be tolerated.[5] Conversely, a party that appears through its actions to endorse something that it opposes can be said to be "sending the wrong message",[5] while one which appears to simultaneously endorse contradictory things can be said to be sending "mixed messages".[6]

In computer science


There are two main senses of the word "message" in computing: messages between the human users of computer systems that are delivered by those computer systems, and messages passed between programs or between components of a single program, for their purposes.

Safety and privacy concerns


Safety and privacy concerns have been expressed in the computer science industry regarding messages. There have been cases where instant messaging apps were found to present a risk of spyware infection.[7] Text messaging is one of the larger causes of distracted driving, and the act of texting and driving has been made illegal in many states as a result.[8]

See also



  1. ^ Carney, Dan (2009-04-08). "Dashboards meet the 21st century". msnbc.com. Retrieved 2019-11-05.
  2. ^ Zhao, Xinyan; Fink, Edward L. (2021). "Proattitudinal versus counterattitudinal messages: Message discrepancy, reactance, and the boomerang effect". Communication Monographs. 88 (3): 286–305. doi:10.1080/03637751.2020.1813317. Retrieved 2024-05-24.
  3. ^ So, Jiyeon; Kim, Soela; Cohen, Heather (2017). "Message fatigue: Conceptual definition, operationalization, and correlates". Communication Monographs. 84: 5–29. doi:10.1080/03637751.2016.1250429. Retrieved 2024-05-24.
  4. ^ Tsai, Wan-Hsiu (Sunny); Lancaster, Alyse R. (2012). "Message Strategies in Direct-to-Consumer Pharmaceutical Advertising: A Content Analysis Using Taylor's Six-Segment Message Strategy Wheel". Health Marketing Quarterly. 29 (3): 239–255. doi:10.1080/07359683.2012.705708. Retrieved 2024-05-24.
  5. ^ a b "Send a message definition". Cambridge English Dictionary. Retrieved September 24, 2023.
  6. ^ Marie, A. (November 8, 2022). "A Mixed Message is THE Message". Medium.
  7. ^ Sunku, Durgaprasad (2019-11-01). "Hyderabad: WhatsApp is vulnerable to spyware attacks". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 2019-11-05.
  8. ^ "Distracted Driving | NHTSA". www.nhtsa.gov. Retrieved 2022-10-09.
  • Media related to Messages at Wikimedia Commons
  • The dictionary definition of message at Wiktionary
  • Quotations related to Message at Wikiquote