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Over the years as technology has improved so has the various means and methods of communication. For example, the earliest form of communication utilized by what can be described as a “modern” society were letters which often took weeks or even months to reach their destination. This was followed by the development of the telegraph which vastly improved the time in which messages were sent yet came at an equally vast cost. It was only through the development of the modern day telephone and telephone networks that communication between individuals located hundreds if not thousands of miles away became more convenient and more popular. It must be noted though that improvements in communication technology do not automatically result in widespread use and proliferation.
The reason behind is due to the fact that new technologies often have higher initial costs and it is only when they become commercially viable that they become standard fixtures in modern day homes. Evidence of this can be seen in the initial introduction of mobile phone technology which was initially bulky and expensive to utilize. It was only when improvements in technology occurred which reduced costs and improved performance that mobile phones became a commonly utilized method of modern day communication. From this it can be seen that advances in communication are intertwined with advances in technology and as such this paper will explore the various new forms of communication that have occurred as a direct result of advances in technology and how they have impacted the way people communicate today.
VOIP or Voice over IP is a form of communication that utilizes new Web 2.0 digital technology to make a call from one PC/ internet connection to another (Booth, 2010). The advantage this particular form of technology has over traditional landline or mobile phone service is that due to the call being digitized and sent over the internet the service itself becomes far cheaper and cost effective. International calls placed through VOIP technology are almost free with services such as Magic Jack allowing consumers to place unlimited calls to the U.S. from quite literally any world wide connection where an appropriate internet connection is available (Booth, 2010). It is also interesting to note that VOIP technology is the backbone of today’s call center industry with hundreds of outsourced call centers in India and the Philippines relying on VOIP to handle customers from the U.S., Canada and the U.K.
Texting is one of the most widely used methods of communication today with quite literally billions of texts sent globally in a single day (Angster, 2010). This particular form of technology works by piggybacking on a signal utilized by mobile phone towers to confirm the location and status of a mobile phone. On average a single text message consists of 150 characters which are sent from one mobile phone to another and are generally used as a cheap and quick way to communicate. Due to its simplicity and affordability texting has become the most dominant method of technology based communication today with a large percentage of mobile phone users using texting as their primary means of communication (Angster, 2010). When this particular form of technology was introduced to the general public it helped to create what is now known as “instant” communication wherein anybody anywhere can be reached quickly, efficiently and above all affordably.
With services such as Skype and Yahoo Messenger video calling over the internet has become one of the most popular means of communication today. The reason behind this is simple, other forms of communication whether in the form of texting, calling, or email are largely impersonal and devoid of direct face to face interaction (Jin and Park, 2010). This problem has been resolved as result of two technological advances: faster internet connections as a direct result of the proliferation of DSL and Broadband as well as advances in Web 2.0 technology over the past decade which has streamlined the process of making calls online. It is a combination of these factors that have made video calling a top favorite amongst technology enthusiasts today since it provides the “personal touch” that most forms of communication technology today lack (Skype, 2011).
Based on what has been presented in this paper it can be seen that with advances in technology comes the potential for advances in communication as well. The creation of technologies such as computers and the internet has also concurrently created new methods of faster, more efficient and cheaper methods of domestic and international communication that has helped to create the modern day interconnected society that we enjoy today. Thus, it can be predicted that as humanity moves forward in developing newer technologies better methods of communication will improve alongside them creating new means of communicating that we can only dream of.
Angster, A., Frank, M., & Lester, D. (2010). AN EXPLORATORY STUDY OF STUDENTS’ USE OF CELL PHONES, TEXTING, AND SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES¹. Psychological Reports, 107(2), 402-404.
Booth, C. (2010). Chapter 2: IP Phones, Software VoIP, and Integrated and Mobile VoIP. Library Technology Reports, 46(5), 11. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Jin, B., & Park, N. (2010). In-Person Contact Begets Calling and Texting: Interpersonal Motives for Cell Phone Use, Face-to-Face Interaction, and Loneliness. CyberPsychology, Behavior & Social Networking, 13(6), 611-618.
Skype. (2011). Do More Together Wherever You Are with Skype Group Video Calling. Business Wire (English). Retrieved from EBSCOhost.