We all know that communication technology simply has revolutionized the way in which we interact with each other. But to understand the complete magnitude of this asset, you need to kind of go back further into communication than where we are now, where it all began. Understand first that any communication technology is going to include all the machines, networks and tools that we use to send and receive messages.
The very first large scale piece of communication technology was back in 1454 and that would be the printing press. This machine was created by Johann Gutenberg and it was the first machine that allowed for the mass production of information. The Bible was the first huge production produced by Gutenbergs printing press and it was called the Gutenberg Bible.
The next really big advancement in communication technology would have been in 1837 when Samuel Morse invented the telegraph. The telegraph enabled people to communicate with others relatively quickly and over vast miles of country. In 1874, the typewriter was created by Remington which allowed even the average educated person to write and disseminate information. Believe it or not, it was in 1939 that the very first computer was created, it was called the Mark I and it was in 1972 when the very first email was sent.
Communication has been extended beyond the written word, especially when Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876 and by 1892 there was direct dialing. In 1973 the very first cell phone call was placed and by 1977 the first fiber optic telephone lines were being laid. In 1997 the camera phone was introduced to the public and now as we all know, today’s phone are more like computers that can browse the Internet and much more.
There are a lot of benefits that come with all this technology for the consumer, the professional and for personal use. It has aided in business expansions and globalization and smartphones allow for emails, text and calls that can be place at any time from any place. The Internet helps to promote the information fast and advertising has prospered from the millions of websites out there. Video conferencing helps companies conduct meetings with people across the country and around the world and helps to keep down the costs on these kinds of meetings.
Parents can better keep track of where their kids are with GPS devices in their phones, you can keep in touch with other family members with any cell phone, have video conferences through services such as Skype and of course email. Of course then there is communication through all the different social networks that let friends and family keep up to date with what’s going on.
There are some disadvantages however. Since this kind of technology makes it easier for us to be more accessible in a lot more places for longer times, we are creating a culture of workaholics. These individuals become overworked and seem to have no sense of a truly defined leisure time because they bring their work with them wherever they go. This is leading to an increased rate of employee burnouts in the workplace, which has actually led to a new group called Workaholics Anonymous.
Another thing is that with things like text messages, instant messages and emails it can lead to a lot of misunderstanding because there simply are no nonverbal cues such as facial expressions or hand gestures to give cues of how to take certain comments. It can cause a lot of problems in family life, with friends and even at work. It’s also possible that as a society we may forget how to communicate and read nonverbal cues in person completely if we’re not careful.