Advantages of Communication Technology:
- more efficient
- faster method of cummunication during emergencies
- able to communicate from anywhere in the world
- long distance communication is easier
- communication made easier
- harder to use for people of older generations
- cyber-bullying and cyber-skyping made possible
- not always reliable
- makes communciation less personal
- not always sure who you are communicating with
The Evolution of Technology Communication
IT 103 Section 001
February 29, 2012
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X MacKenzie Jones
Over the last few decades, the evolution of communication technology has been vastly transformed. “Back in the old days” people used to use landlines, nowadays you’re considered out of date if you don’t have the latest IPhone. The world’s way of communicating which once used to be a time-consuming and extensive process, has transformed itself so much that it now allows people to connect and be in touch with others around the world; this all happening at the touch of their fingertips. Due to this extreme and life-changing technological revolution, society has renovated the meaning of “communication”. “Communicating” isn’t just regarded to in terms of actually ”talking”, it can now be considered; text messaging, emailing, skyping, and also social networking. “Talking” no longer has to be face-to-face conversation with another person. (Rogers) Along with this new advancement there has also been some unfortunate things leading out of it. New issues presented themselves in the forms of cyber-bullying, cyber-stalking, as well as further interaction’s coming off of these bullying sessions. Before these new tools and technologies, issues such as these did not have a presence in the technological world. (Info-Culture) We have come a long way since the first cases of written and oral communication; it is much more than just “talking” now. (Rogers)
Snail mail: the majority of us have used or heard of it before. With the great eruption of electronic mail, commonly known as email, the use of snail mail is less common. However, the technological world still plunged into an important time period commonly known as the writing and printing era. With the assistance of innovator Alexander Graham Bell, on March 7, 1876, Bell issued the first ever patent for the telephone. Prior to the invention of the telephone, the most prominent means of communication used over long distance were letters, and post cards (New Communication Technologies). This major transformation will forever change the old way s of communication, as well as provide new ideas for an even more futuristic way of communicating.
The Invention of Telephones
The first telephones connected by means of a single direct channel. This channel was only able to communicate with one another. Following the single channel, small urban areas initiated the use of a switchboard, which had the capability to transfer phone calls from one line to another by using one or more operators. However, if one were to make a long distance call, they would have to contact the long distance operator, and then this operator would place the call. The larger cities were provided with a special number, compared to the old generic one, that the operator would then ring up. The individual city’s operator had the ability to transfer the call to the person the other desired to reach (Rogers). This method of communication worked, however it was very ineffective and unproductive, and wasn’t always dependable. For instance, in times of emergency waiting to connect with an operator to then have to wait for them to transfer the call, did not make for the best use of constrained time. Another example of unreliability is if a person was trying to reach another who was not home to accept the call; then what would happen? A major downside from this means of communication was that the public still had to pay for long distance phone calls, whether the person they were trying to get in touch with answered or not (How Stuff Works). With the assistance of the “new and improved” products, people were capable of communicating over time and over long distances (D. Gregory).
Electronic Communication (email)
Electronic mail permits people to send and receive messages through a written document using the World Wide Web and their computer. Emails can be conducted and received at the sender and receivers personal convenience. Electronic mail was established and created in 1961. This new technological advancement allowed people to converse extremely quickly. Compared to the old means of communication or the telephone, email did not have the reoccurring issue of individuals not being available at the same particular time. Electronic mail has a process between a client and a server. Every time an email is sent, the client initiates the connection with the server, and that server shares the message (D. Gregory). The system of electronic mail was much more efficient, nonetheless people did not use this new means of technology right away. The public was very uncertain about this new system of communication. Particularly, one concern many had if the email would get to their intended receiver and if it would get there on time. This concern was highly regarded because individuals were so used to receiving an instant response, such as someone’s voice on the other end of the telephone. One email became more accepted by society, it became highly used and an extremely common way of communicating. One thing that attracted the public and caused them to further look into the use of email was its ability to attach and send pictures, word documents, and power points. The use of electronic mail has expanded people’s ability to share documents with the click of a button. People no longer have to print out their work and then mail it using postage; they can simply email it or submit work electronically. This advancement has a variety of benefits, thus including, less wasted paper, extreme increase in efficiency and time management and lastly the simple task of submitting work to the internet for college, high school, or real world jobs.
The Age of the Cell Phone
In the early 70’s, the mobile phone, commonly known as cell phone was invented. Doctor Martin Cooper developed the first cell phone in 1973. When many think of a cell phone they imagine a small compact device; to some the IPhone may even come to their minds. However, the first cellular phone was a large bulky rectangle shaped device. During the creation of the first cell phone, many referred to this new gadget as a “brick”. This nickname formed due to the fact that the first mobile phone greatly resembled a literal brick. In 1983 the Motorola DynaTAC8000x was the first phone to become commercially available to the public. Before the handheld telephone was created, we had the radio telephone. The radio telephone is extremely similar to a walkie-talkie. The system of the radio phone consisted of a single and main tower existing in each city. This method had a variety of problems, some being that there were not enough channels for everyone to communicate over due to the fact that radio phones used radio lines to transmit sound. Cell phones are similar to radios despite the fact that each city has various cell’s, therefore allowing many people to use their phones simultaneously; this due to the usage of frequency (New Communication Technologies).
New Technologies Emerge
With the invention of electronic mail and the cell phone, various other types of new modernized ways of communication began to erupt! In the technological world, this specific point in time appeared to be something similar to a race or battle to see who could develop the latest and greatest forms of communication. Thereupon, in the early years of the 90’s, the development of Instant Messaging evolved (Spreading The News). With the eruption of all these new technologies, people were beginning to become more interested in other ways to communicate rapidly with others. Society was becoming accustomed to things being immediate or “instant”. Thus, the newest and hastiest method of written communication emerged. Instant Messaging was much quicker than email, just a quicker and updated version of it. Instant Messaging grew even more with the release of AOL’s new program, commonly known as AIM. AIM was the easiest, and fastest means of communication at this point in time; this interested many individuals. However popular AIM was it still had its assortment of advantages and disadvantages; consequently leading to the development of yet another new means of communication (Science Direct).
With the immense advancement and progression occurring in our technological world, our society has become reliant on technology. This always seems to amaze me because at one point in time, we did not have any of these devices, and now we are so dependent on them. I truly believe that if forced to go back to the old methods of communication, our culture would be lost and unable to survive. Today many people in society take these technologies for granted, and some cant even remember the times without cell phones, instant messaging, or email. Amazingly, all of these innovations, including mobile phones, AIM and especially email are still prominently used in our society and have yet to be replaced with something new. Email may be the advancement still used most widely, due to its ability to send and receive large documents, as well as being able to distribute to many people at once. Furthermore, every single one of these devices has entirely changed the way humans connect and communicate with each other. Before this incredible technological revolution, communication was possible in many ways. However this had to be done with various devices and machines, compared to now where all of these applications are available on a single instrument (Rogers). Varying with the type of cell phone one owns, some can store contacts, set alarms, and make phone calls. However others are able to, make day to day schedules, use the Internet, play fun games, pay bills, watch TV and movies, listen to music, and even go as far as being able to “face time” or video chat with another (Voucher). Innovators have basically though of every “application” you could think of, and made it accessible on your cell phone.
Updated Technologies: Generated for Accessibility
Beginning with the camera phone, leading to the blackberry or smart phone, and finally emerging into the IPhone era; all of these devices continue to develop new and improved features. The blackberry being described as a “convergent device”, revolutionized the way the business world worked. Soon after the blackberry, the IPhone was created. The IPhone is one if the worlds highest regarded technological items (Science Direct). The IPhone designed by Steve Jobs, has more applications in one small device than the world has ever seen. Some of these applications and qualities being the 5-mega pixel camera, video recording, GPS navigation, HD TV and video, millions of games, liquid crystal display, face time, and countless more. One amazing thing about the technological world is if a certain device is lacking a feature or it is not up to par, then the second version will come out soon enough. For example, the IPhone series has 5 different versions, each better than the next. Due to the immense capability of these small devices, our culture is highly dependent and reliant on their phones. Many do not leave home without it, and some even shower with their phone! Technologies that were once astonishing are no longer used due to the fact that our phone can literally “do it all” (Business Communication). Things such as mailing letters, waiting for an operator, waiting for dial-up, and not being able to leave the room and talk on the phone, are all things of the past. New technologies have taken over! Without these innovations, people lives today would be much more complicated; time which you could be completing productive things, would still be spent on time-consuming jobs. Before these new developments people would only be able to complete certain tasks and jobs in specific places. In addition to being less productive, one would have to carry around several devices in order to listen to music, talk on the phone, take videos, surf the web, and take pictures (How Stuff Works). However, nowadays all one needs is their IPhone to be content.
Not only did innovators make it possible to accomplish almost every task possible on their phones, but they made it possible on computers and laptops too. One of the latest inventions that aid many areas of work, specifically the social media and business world, is Skype. Skype is a VoIP or voice-over-internet Protocol, that lets people communicate with both visual and audio. Sweedish, Niklas Zennstrom, founded Skype in 2003. Skype allows individuals to communicate by voice, visual image, and instant messaging, almost as if they were sitting in front of each other; however they made be in a different city, or as far as halfway across the world. This not only allows people in the business world to communicate and make transactions with each other, but it also permits family and friends to have interactions from anywhere in the world (D. Gregory).
Legal and Ethical Concerns
With the new and improved means of technology developing, there was also a wide range of problems that arose. Many found that is was extremely easy to get into trouble with the law, and their friends and family. Another reason why things such as Facebook was an issue is because, employers were beginning to look up their employees or potential applicants; some people interests and pictures were either getting them fired, or decreasing their chance of getting the potential job. Even though Facebook, twitter and other social media sites have security settings, there is no guarantee that their information and pictures will be private to all. This has caused many issues in the sense that some people these resources helpful and others find them to be an invasion of privacy (Info-Culture).
With the invention of Skype and various social media sites, there has been a significant increase in the amount of bullying being committed; it is much more simple to harass and ridicule someone from behind a computer than to their face. Furthermore, words sometime even mean more than actions themselves. This is one of the central themes behind discussion in Middle and High Schools; cyber-bullying and cyber-stalking is becoming increasingly more of a problem. Cyber-bullying is a huge problem among teenagers and middle school students. One of the major reasons that cyber-bullying is more effective in hurting and destroying ones self esteem is that, the words or actions committed are available to the public, not just the people who witnessed something such as a fight. Victims are also much easier found online due to the fact that many people do not make their accounts or information private; this being one of the largest problems occurring with the creation of these new technologies. Cyber-stalking is another serious security concern. Once again, this is an issue present in kid’s lives more than adults. Kids are more susceptible to talk to strangers because they think they are being friendly, or they think they may know the person. Parents have the biggest concern in this certain topic because there have been certain instances when cyber-stalking left the technological world and became a part of the real world; this meaning face-to-face interactions (Spreading The News).
The greatest factor that seems to be the major primacy behind these technological advancement’s, is accessibility and handiness. The most modernized products on the market have been fast, small, and having large capacities. Being able to send someone a message and receive a reply in seconds is a phenomenal resource to people. On the other hand being able to use one single device in order to make a phone call, take a picture, use a calculator, listen to music, watch videos, and communicate with others is outstanding. These capabilities are things humans take for granted everyday, however if we stop and think about what we did before all of these advancements, people would soon realize how dependent we are on technology. Many believe that America’s reliance on technology is sad, while others believe that it is a tool that continues to help build our society to the best it can possibly be! Regardless of our societies point of view on the matter of Communication Technology, it is extremely evident that without these brilliant and genius innovations, our lives would not be the same, and society would not be as prosperous as it is today. We can only hope that the future hold more developments and advances in technology, specifically Communication Technology.
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