Successful writer Arthur C. Clarke once said, ""Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Communication technology, which has revolutionized the way we interact with one another, is no exception. To understand the full magnitude of this magic asset, one must delve further into where communication technology has come from and where it is going.
Communication technology includes the machines, networks and tools used to send and receive messages.
The first large scale communication technology was the printing press, developed in 1454 by Johann Gutenberg, as machine allowed for the mass transmission of information. Samuel Morse invented the telegraph in 1837. Remington typewriters followed in 1874, allowing the average educated individual to write and disseminate information. By 1939, the first computer, the Mark I, was in development, and in 1972, the first email was sent.
Communication technology has extended far beyond the context of the written word. In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, leading to direct dialing in 1892. In 1973, the first cell phone call was placed, and fiberoptic telephone lines were laid in 1977. The camera phone was introduced in 1997. Today's phones can browse the Internet.
Communication technology provides a vast variety of benefits to the average consumer, both professionally and interpersonally.
Communication technology has aided in business expansion and globalization. Smartphones allow for email, texts and calls placed at any time, from anywhere. The Internet promotes the fast information transmission via email and website advertising. Tools such as video conferencing allow companies to conduct business meetings with people halfway across the world for a fraction of what it would cost to physically meet.
Communication technology can also benefit interpersonal relationships. Parents can keep better track of their kids with cell phones and GPS devices. Family members can keep in touch with phones, video conferencing services like Skype, and email. Public communication through social networking sites allows friends to keep up with one another and for new friendships to begin.
Disadvantages for Emotional Health
Because communication technology makes us accessible in more places for longer amounts of time, a culture of workaholics has developed. These overworked individuals have no sense of defined leisure time, bringing work home with them. This has lead to an increased rate of burnout in the workforce, and the development of a recovery group called Workaholics Anonymous.
Disadvantages for Communication
Initially, reliance on text driven communication technologies like text messages, email and instant messaging presents ample opportunity for misunderstanding, as there are no nonverbal cues to provide context to comments. Moreover, according to an article from the Wall Street Journal, by relying on these text based communications, we may be losing our ability to read nonverbal cues at all.