SYSTEM AND ENVIRONMENT
Because environments are active, the environment of a communication system can impact significantly on the communication process. The following examples illustrate the importance environmental activity.
The education system would not appear to have much to do with the real estate and construction industries. However, these are part of the system's environment, and if real estate agents succeed in selling land for housing and commercial development, and construction companies build new houses and office buildings, more people will be attracted to the area.
If the population goes up, there are likely be more children in the area, and the education system will probably have to change in order to accommodate them.
The United States interstate highway system passes through and near the many cities and towns that make up its environment.
These cities and towns supply the cars and trucks that enter the system and absorb those that leave. The interstate system makes it easy to travel to the places that make up its environment, and in part because of this, some of the towns and cities have grown in size, thus putting additional demands on the system that may eventually require the construction of more highways. It is interesting to see that from the point of view of a city along the interstate, the highway is part of the city's environment, while from the point of view of the highway system, the opposite is true.
The United States postal system was created in the early days of the United States to carry letters and packages among its citizens. Two changes in its environment have had a significant impact on this system.
Beginning in the mid-1900s the development of private telephone systems, and more recently the development of computer messaging networks (fax, e-mail, etc.) have changed the way that people make use of the "mail." Consequently, the postal system has had to change, too.