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Communications & Technology

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Communication & Technology

        Communication is a significant thing in society because the exchange of information is fundamental.  This pursuit of information is a key reason technology has grown to the level it has.  Modern technologies have allowed information to be at our figure tips.  However, technology is more than just a way to exchange information; but a way to build relationships, stay connected, and improve daily life.  Thus, technological advances have changed our culture.

        A long time ago people communicated through cave paintings, smoke signals, drums, and trumpets.  Next, the invention of paper created a new line of communication through handwritten letters, books, and other documents.  People found trying to mass produce a product, such as a handwritten book, proved to be a lot of work.  These difficulties lead to the creation of the printing press.  A smaller personal version of the printing press was created, otherwise known as a typewriter.  Finally, when computers became available on the market word processing was further enhanced by software such as Microsoft Word.

        The innovation of the computer provided the means to create the internet.  The internet has become a powerful resource that provides society with access to global information and instant communication.  Interaction sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media services has gained popularity among the young people whereby they can talk, share, and interact with their peers; both locally and globally.  According to Dr. Bala, “social media has become an important tool of self-expression and self-presentation (3).”  He later goes on to explain:

We want to project as we are living the best life irrespective of reality we keep on posting the real, created or edited pictures of ourselves and surroundings.  The desire of self-gratification is leading to peer pressure.  The desire of posting and checking comments after every moment is making youth addict towards the social media (3).

These sites can be very addictive causing many users to find themselves visiting them multiple times a day worse still some others will stay online 24 hours a day.  The social and interpersonal self-ostracism that social media causes maybe off set by the utility. People use these connections for dating and matching services. Many people have ended up in marriages from the online dating services. Social media also has other beneficial utilities such as making friends and finding connections to good jobs.

        Communication binds people, helps maintain social health, and enables people to interact and make friends.  According to “The Impact of Mobile Use on Teenager’s Socialization,” Kalogeraki and Papadaki argue:

The mobile youth culture, as a new set of values and attitudes that inform practice among the younger generations, is a typical networked culture.  Peer groups formed at school or in residential neighborhoods often serve as the basis.  What the spread of mobile phone does is to reinforce and extend the existing youth networks and drive them towards a higher level of networked sociability, when face-to-face interaction is equated with mobile-based communication, when a “full-time intimate community” is taking shape (123).

        Apart from benefiting the communication sector, technology has also led to the improvement in areas of business, education, and the society in general. Businesses must be upgraded and up to date with technologies which keep them competitive within their discipline.  In “Seeing Ourselves through Technology,” Rettberg gives an example of how businesses use technology:

Your data is extremely valuable to companies that want to sell you things or to organizations that want to convince you to support their agenda. You can easily see some of the consequences of your data being tracked. For example, when I spent a lot of time reading about activity trackers as research for this book, I started seeing ads for activity trackers on many different sites, including Facebook. In addition to data gathered from your web surfing habits, sites such as Facebook and Google use the demographic information you explicitly give them and information they glean from your status updates, private messages and email to customize your news feed and the ads they show you. If you switch your status to ‘Engaged,’ you will immediately be shown ads for wedding dresses and caterers (p. 81).

Businesses use the internet to stay up-to-date with the daily occurrences concerning the market; businesses also leverage data and predictive analysis to breach new markets and try to gain competitive advantage.

        In the education sector, technology continues to evolve at a faster rate as the learners participate in new ways of learning. Some technological savvy is a required for every learner in order to utilize these technologies in the learning process. Students and their teachers communicate using online resources and forums. Tracking each other’s posts the students gain a sense of their peer’s thoughts on any given subject and the teachers can access progress of the class and redirect the discussion.



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