Difference Between Communication and Interaction

Key Difference – Communication vs. Interaction


Communication and Interaction are two terms that often go together although there is a difference between these two words. First let us define these two words so that we fully comprehend what communication is, and how it is different from an interaction. Communication refers to the act of sharing information. On the other hand, interaction refers to acting in such a manner so as to affect the other. The key difference between communication and interaction is that interaction is a broader term while communication is a part of the interaction. This article will elaborate on the difference in detail.

What is Communication?

Communication refers to the act of sharing information. This usually takes place between two or more people. Language is usually considered as one of the means through which we communicate with one another. It allows us to share information or convey a message in an effective manner. However, communication is not confined to language alone. It can even be achieved through images, gestures, symbols, etc. This highlights that communication encapsulates a broad arena.

Communication can be one way or two way. For example, a news item that we listen to through a TV channel is a one-way communication. Here the individual receives the information but gains no opportunity to connect with the sender of information. Hence, it is only one directional. On the other hand, a conversation that takes place between a teacher and a student, however, is a two-way communication. This is two directional.

Difference Between Communication and Interaction

What is Interaction?

Interaction refers to acting in such a manner so as to affect the other. This is believed to be reciprocal. Interaction does not always have to be through language; it can even be through gestures. However, the vital feature is that there should be a clear response to the action. For example, imagine a situation where you are waiting for a bus at a bus stop. The person next to you smiles at you. If you also respond with a smile, this becomes an interaction.

The term interaction is used in many disciplines such as physics, chemistry, computer technology, biology, and sociology. In all these disciplines the interaction of forces such as atoms, molecular, variables are being studied. In sociology, specifically the social interaction is studied. Sociologists comprehend social interaction as an essential part of human life where people interact with one another. Sociologists study how people interact with others and how their interactions change from person to person based on social forces.

As you can see, there is a clear difference between communication and interaction. Communication is believed to be a major part of human interaction, although interaction involves other branches than goes beyond sharing information. This difference can be summarized as follows.

Key Difference - Communication vs Interaction

What is the difference between Communication and Interaction?

Definitions of Communication and Interaction:

Communication: Communication refers to the act of sharing information.

Interaction: Interaction refers to acting in such a manner so as to affect the other.

Characteristics of Communication and Interaction:


Communication: Communication can be one way or two way.

Interaction: Interaction is always two way.


Communication: When communicating we always exchange information.

Interaction: When interacting we may not always exchange information.


Image Courtesy:

1. “Erin Andrews at BattleontheMidway” by 0pen$0urce – Usuing own camera.. [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikipedia

2. Wikimanía, Hung Hom, Hong Kong, 2013-08-08 AA 32 By Allan Aguilar [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons