What is synchronous communication? – Learn the characteristics of synchronous communication

Both in computing and in telecommunication field, there is a lot of talk about the type of communication between two devices or more. On the one hand, we have the asynchronous type, which is the most used to date, but synchronous communication is also present. From the simplest means of communication to the most advanced, such as the MSL system in aviation, this way of communicating is used.

Today we will focus on commenting on all the synchronous communication key points. We will start from a complete definition and concept, going through the objectives and characteristics, until ending with the advantages and disadvantages of this means of sending information. In the end, you will understand the basic concepts and we will provide you with some specific examples so that you can identify this type of communication.

Definition and concept of synchronous communication

We can define this type of communication as a way of establishing contact with another person in real time. That is, both the sender and the receiver are sharing information and there is a feedback. All this taking into account that both parties are active in a communication system. For example, when we talk by conventional phone call.

In this mentioned case, there is real-time communication. Although the two parties are not talking at the same time, there is an exchange of data and messages in real time and simultaneously. This occurs in almost the same way in a video call. However, factors such as browsing speed, bandwidth and internet stability can contribute to a delay in communication. Even so, it is still considered as a synchronous communication.

It is important to take into account that synchronous communication is mainly associated with the technological world. However, the principles behind this can also be applied to the common or social realm. Therefore, the synchronous communication definition They are attributed to digital systems in which information is sent and received in real time.

What is the goal of synchronous communication?

This type of communication is not always the most viable, since there are situations in which another type of communication is required. For example, obtaining a satellite image requires asynchronous communication, due to the factors of time and distance. On the other hand, the main purpose of synchronous communication is exchange data in real time and that there is feedback almost instantly.

However, this requires that both parties be connected to the communication system. For example, if you want talk to someone on whatsapp, whether by video call or chat, you need that contact to be online. Otherwise, it would only be in the presence of asynchronous communication, since the data exchange is not in real time.

As for the objectives as such, this is something that depends a lot on the field in which you are working. For example, in the field of telecommunications, synchronous communication is necessary for Internet browsing or hold a phone call between users. On the other hand, if you intend to carry out studies, mass data analysis, it is necessary that the answers are almost immediate, although it is not always the case.

But no matter what field you are in, the goal remains the same, to maintain an exchange of information and data. This can be achieved through an Internet connection, by radio links or conventionally, through wireless or wired mobile networks.

What characteristics does synchronous communication have?

The first feature is that is often used verbatim. In other words, its most common and best-known format is writing on a computer, mobile phone or other devices. In addition, this also includes the sending and receiving of voice notes, images and audiovisual content.

The next feature is is related to time. In other words, for synchronous communication to exist, there must be contact between two or more users in real time in a specific system. In the case of Zoom video calls, there is synchronous communication due to the simple detail of there being more than one active and interacting user. Of course, who is in charge of the configuration and everything related, is the host of the video call.

What are the advantages of using synchronous communication?

Among the most notable advantages of synchronous communication, we are going to present the following:

  • Allows interaction between users without import barriers such as distancethe time or even the language itself.
  • It makes it easy to get an answer almost immediately.
  • The answers obtained are obtained in real time.
  • It is possible to use this form of communication in different fields and it is not only limited to the technological field.
  • can be saved or archive information temporarily.
  • It greatly facilitates teamwork without having to be physically in the same place, so it helps a lot with remote work.
  • It helps to encourage interaction between people with the same interests.

What are the disadvantages of using synchronous communication?

even though we have highlighted great advantages, there are disadvantages that it presents. Among which, we can mention the following:

  • It doesn’t allow the user enough time to generate a response due to immediacy.
  • In many cases, a username and password are required.
  • There are no physical expressions on the part of the people and, in general, there is a tendency to create conflicts in textual communication.
  • The moderation problems are real.
  • It is considered as a great challenge for anyone to stay focused on other activities.
  • It is a problem related to the differences of the time zones.
  • It requires that both the receiver and the sender are in the same environment or place, either physically or virtually.
  • It can affect work productivity, since you tend to be waiting all the time to send or receive information.
  • He Excess digital meetings increase fatigue and stress on the part of those involved.
  • As for written communication, it becomes difficult to perceive the intention or the tone in which the other person is speaking to us.
  • It is more common for people to develop a habit of dependency by wanting to get an answer as soon as possible.

Based on the last mentioned, it is vital to highlight that synchronous communication has been affecting the general population and along with it, distort social relationships. This has generated emotional dependence between people and conflicts in affective relationships.

Examples of synchronous communication

Throughout the article we have been giving some practical examples for this type of communication. However, we will provide you with some additional ones so that you fully understand this whole topic.

  1. All instant messaging applications use synchronous communication. This can be benefited or affected depending on the speed and stability of the internet connection. The most common cases are apps like Facebook, Messenger or Telegram.
  2. Platforms that facilitate video calls. This is something that has been present for just over a decade. It all starts with Skype, however, alternative platforms such as Zoom are often used.
  3. Mobile phones and calls that have been made throughout life are the clear example of the antiquity of synchronous communication.

The examples may not be so numerous, however, each of these is broken down into many other applications. For example, in times of a global pandemic, many free applications such as Google tools were used to support school and university learning.

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