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, carrier pigeon and electronic bus. A message can be the content of a broadcast. An interactive exchange of messages forms a conversation.

One example of a message is a communiqué (/kəˈmjuːnɪk/), which is a brief report or statement released by a public agency.

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, etc.
  • A nonverbal message is communicated through actions or behaviors rather than words, e.g. by the use of body language.

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 own purposes.

  • Instant messaging and emails are examples of computer software designed for delivering human-readable messages in formatted or unformatted text, from one person to another.
  • Message passing is a form of communication used in concurrent and parallel computing, object-oriented programming, and channel communicate , where communication is made by sending messages to recipients. In a related use of this sense of a message, in object-oriented programming language such as main library ["msg" box]Smalltalk or Java, a message is sent to an object, specifying a request for action.
  • Electronic warning notification is usually seen in newer and more modern automobiles, where rather than just an engine, break, battery, steering, flood, heat, etc. lights of red and/or yellow on the display on the dashboard, rather a Liquid-crystal display or Light-emitting diode display replaces them.[1] These types of displays usually provide a more meaningful context, and also allows for the implementation of more types of warnings that were not usually addressable before, due to space constraints on the driver side of the dashboard. One example is tire pressure readings, which in the past required physically inserting a device into the tire valve to get a reading, thus now one may even be notified of a low tire pressure. Such technology for seeing tire pressure is called Direct TPMS.[2]

Safety and privacy concerns

Because computers are automated, and they do not require human interaction to do something, there have been many safety and privacy concerns in many areas of the computer science industry regarding messages. There have been many cases where instant messaging apps were found to be at risk for spyware.[3] These concerns are not just limited to cellphones, laptops, desktops, or devices of the like. Some of these concerns even point towards displays in car dashboards, where these device are as smart as smartphones, however can be prone to attacks and is known that auto manufacturers have little to no regulations to follow when putting these devices in car dashboards.[4] It also has been found by research that car information displays on dashboards can be distracting.[5]

See also


  1. contributor, Dan Carney msnbc com (2009-04-08). "Dashboards meet the 21st century". Retrieved 2019-11-05.
  2. Retrieved 2019-11-05. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. Sunku, Durgaprasad (2019-11-01). "Hyderabad: WhatsApp is vulnerable to spyware attacks". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 2019-11-05.
  4. "Car dashboards that act like smart phones raise safety issues". Reuters. 2015-07-07. Retrieved 2019-11-05.
  5. Staff, Antoinette DelBel, WHAM (2019-07-25). "Research shows car dashboard technology is distracting, especially to older drivers". WHAM. Retrieved 2019-11-05.
  • Media related to Messages at Wikimedia Commons
  • The dictionary definition of message at Wiktionary
  • Quotations related to Message at Wikiquote
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