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May 2020

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Technological Advancements

Communication is defined as the passage of information from one person or place to another. This is done through verbal or non-verbal communication. Verbal communication involves the use of the words while non-verbal communication entails the use of other means of communication. Examples of non-verbal communication include written communication and facial expressions such as signs

Communication systems have evolved through history. The oldest mode of communication entailed the use of pictographs. This was the earliest form of communication. Pictograms were used to relay information from one person or place to another. The use of stones which were painted with some particular signs was also common. The signs were used for passing messages. Then there was the use of papyrus, paper, clay, and wax. These were also used to pass written communication. In other geographical setups, notably in Africa, fire and smoke were used to relay information. After fire was lit, the smoke emitted passed some form of communication from one location to another.

The above discussed ancient modes of communication had their fair share of disadvantages. It must be noted that the disadvantages were more than the advantages of the modes. However, there were no better options, an aspect that underscored the reliance of these forms. Some of the written forms of communication could be misleading as was the use of pictograms. The other shortcoming of the ancient written communication was that it would only be utilized by persons who are able to read and write. Therefore, literacy was required to ensure effective passage of information. The ancient written forms of communication like clay and wax could be destroyed by adverse weather conditions. This would lead to failure in passing the intended message.

The use of smoke also had its fair number of shortcomings. Smoke can be disrupted by wind. The direction it blows can mislead those who are supposed to get a message from the smoke. In some weather conditions, for instance, when there is substantial fog, smoke may never be noted. This means that the intended communication fails. Falling rain can also disrupt the fire by putting it out and hence affecting the emission and flow of smoke. However, it is noted that all these ancient forms of communication were cheap and readily available for use.

Then, there came the use of letters or parcels. These would be drafted and then posted to some address. Courier services then transport the parcels through road, water or air to the desired destination. Although this was efficient as compared to the earlier forms, it was quite expensive and time consuming. Confidentiality of messages could also be compromised since the parcels could be opened. Sometimes the parcels could be misplaced or lost altogether.

There is also the use of various modes of transport for communication. This involves transport or movement of humans from one place to another in order to relay some information. Various companies, governmental bodies, and delegations use these systems of communication. They travel from one location to another to relay some information. During elections, contestants traverse various areas of their political jurisdictions to communicate with the electorate as they market their agenda or policies. They make use of various transportation methods. The most notable ones are road, air, railway, and water transport. Sometimes, these modes are inaccessible, expensive, and time consuming.

An improved mode of communication is available. This utilizes electromagnetic waves. Communication takes place in any part of the world on condition that a compatible gadget is available. This system uses the radio and television systems. Since communication through these modes requires compatibility, it can only be effective if the receiver has a similar gadget. The gadgets also require energy to function. Besides some of them are expensive, and they also require that the person making the communication and the one receiving it, both understand the language used. It can be spoken through the radio or written. This system cannot be used by the deaf and the blind.

Advancements in technology are responsible for the enhanced systems of communication as evidenced in the modern world. The communication process passed a way from the use of smoke to radio and television that represented a substantial improvement in communication. In addition, the use of other forms of air and water transport has improved. However, in the recent past with improvements in technology, communication has further advanced. This is discussed below.

The advents of the computer, the Internet, and the Global Positioning Systems have taken communication to new heights. The technology of the computer and the Internet has brought about instant communication systems. The most notable one in this scenario is the use of electronic mail. E-mail has revolutionized written communication. It requires a gadget that is the Internet enabled like a computer of mobile phone. It is quick, approximately instant. The costs are cheaper than for any other form. It also provides an automatic system of storage of the message passed since it can easily be retrieved. But this system also has its challenges. The confidentiality of the message can be compromised. Hackers have in the past gotten crucial data by hacking email accounts of users. The other challenge is that it can only be effective for people who know how to read and write and have the Internet-enabled gadgets. In some cases, these resources are not available and hence an impediment towards effective communication.

The advent of the Internet and the computer has also aided in other improved communication channels. The use of Skype and Video Conferencing has also had a positive impact on modern communication. Meetings can effectively be held from different locations. The use of this technology allows users to have visual images and sound communications with others who are not in the same location. Therefore, it avoids the need of having persons travelling to a common place to hold meetings. This can be done from different offices to save time and resources. The use of fiber optic cables for the Internet connection has also enhanced access to the Internet, thus improving online communication. For example, in Australia, the National Broadband Network has rolled out a plan of connecting approximately 93% of premises with fiber. They also sell the Internet access to retail customers who in turn sell it to final consumers. This will lead to increased Internet connections in the country, hence improving online communications. The population would also be informed about the latest events due to fast and instant Internet communications.

The use of Global Positioning Systems has enabled the identification of exact locations on the earth. It guides in the correct location of some point or place. It uses coordinates system to locate a position. For instance, in security operations, a person can be located from the use of GPS. The technology has a server that connects with a signal from the gadget to locate its position. Guidance can thereby be given on location to a safe area or rescue point.

The advancements in technology have had an immense influence on modern communication. Thus, modern communication has been made quick and cheaper than the ancient systems. Now, communication is convenient and easy. One does not need to go to some place to communicate. This can be done from the house or whenever one wants to do it. However, as much as the new advancements have improved the welfare of human life, they have also brought notable shortcomings and challenges. The associated advantages and disadvantages of technological advancements in communication are discussed below.

Principal Advantages of the New Communication Technologies

Communication has been made simple and convenient. One only needs to have a gadget to pass a message. This would require a mobile phone or an Internet-enabled computer or telephone. With such a gadget or tool, communication can be made within a short time. This can also be done from any location so long as it is wave enabled. This is in contrast to the ancient forms when one had to travel to some locations to get the message sent. This has aided in carrying out the business. Commercial transactions can be conducted through the Internet. Documents can be scanned and sent via mail. Payments can also be done through online electronic funds transfer. This has drastically reduced the costs of doing business.

Communication is now affordable. The costs of acquiring a mobile phone are relatively cheaper. Many people can thereby afford it and hence communication amongst many people has become realistic and affordable. Verbal communication has also been promoted by the use of Skype and Video Conferencing. Those who cannot read can now communicate verbally and visually through the two systems. Also by the fact that advancements in technology have brought many channels for communication, the associated costs of any mode of communication have become cheaper. With the availability of numerous modes of communication, the costs of communication have to be competitive. This has consequently led to a fall in the costs and hence affordability to the customers.

The improved technological advancements in communication have provided a system that allows for easy retrieval of crucial data. Through the utilization of GPS technology, it is possible to locate the position of a person. This is because the gadget being used sends a signal, which is received by a transmitter to locate the position of emission. In security corners, this is an important asset. It helps the security agencies to fight crime through identifying the locations of criminal groups and even retrieving the content of their communication. This can help avert a possible attack or commission of a crime.

Principal Disadvantages of Technological Advancements in Communication

According to the Daily Telegraph, there is an associated tendency of wasting time on email correspondence. Some employees spend approximately two hours a day responding to the correspondence through mail. This represents viable time that can be spent on constructive work. The Internet communications also tend to be addictive. This has an effect of engaging individuals to be attached to online communications. In cases of disruptions in these communications, employees would feel bored and unable to perform their roles.

The aspect of confidentiality has been breached by the advancements in technology. Communication made by the use of improved and modern communication technologies can easily be accessed by third parties. Hackers have gotten unauthorized access to accounts of various email users and accessed classified data or material. This has a negative effect since it infringes the freedom of privacy. Therefore, it is an insecure mode of communication.

The modern communication advancements have also had a negative effect on the moral fiber in the society. Irresponsible persons and the teenagers have access to material meant for adults. The sharing or publication of the information has led to a moral meltdown in the modern society. Incitement and other unethical practices like online bullying have also had disastrous effects on the society. The spread of rumors or falsehoods with the intention of attacking other individuals have become a common practice in the modern communication systems. These have caused suffering to victims and even led to cases of attempted suicide.

Communication is an important aspect of human life. Without it, life would be chaotic since understanding would be compromised. Forms of communication have evolved through time immemorial. Since the ancient times, communication has improved. However, this has come with mixed fortunes. There are associated advantages and disadvantages. The positive effects have had more beneficial influence on human life than the negative ones. It is important to adopt measures to ensure that there is appropriate legislation to safeguard the gains made on technological advancements. There is also a need to address the challenges that have emerged out of the same advancements since they limit the benefits of the improvements in communication and technological advancement. In conclusion, the advancements have been of great positive effect to the way in which people communicate, thus improving the quality of life.

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