Information technology is one of the most dynamic factors in the world today. New developments in this field are made everyday. The world today may not imagine life without gadgets such as the mobile phone, computers, internet, motor vehicles, and marine equipment among others. All these items have been made available due to influences of technology. Information technology has had many influences in the world today. The most profound impacts that information technology has impacted very much is in the area of communication. This article focuses on the ways in which the telephone has changed communication in the last ten years.
History of the telephone
The history of the telephone dates back to the late 19th century. Alexander graham bell discovered the first telephone. Graham’s success with the telephone came from his attempt to improve the telegraph, one of the oldest modes of communication (Farley Tom 13)
In June 1975, when Graham was experimenting with the harmonic telegraph, he realized that he could hear sound over the wire like a clock spring. From these simple concepts, the telephone has undergone a serious metamorphosis over the last many years with a lot of improvements. The most important developments in the telephone sector were the invention of the mobile phone by the Motorola Company in the 1970’s. This has made communication quite easy and effective. This has resulted from the fact that communication is of invaluable importance in modern times. A good example of the importance of communication could be a reference to the new Orleans war between the united states and the British. Their soldiers slaughtered one another just because information had not reached them on time that a peace treaty had already been signed between the United States and Britain ( http://www.mobil.greenline.ru/sony.html).
Since the beginning of human history , information usually travelled just as fast as a ship could sail, a person could walk or a horse could run, then came the telegraph and finally the invention of the telephone which latter led to the development of the mobile phone. The telephone is still widely used in the world today, although the mobile phone has rapidly overtaken it in terms of customer statistics ( <http://uhavax.hartford.edu/JHOLMAN/History.html)
The telecommunication industry has changed communication practices in a number of aspects as discussed below.
Before the discovery of telephones and cell phones, communication was very expensive. It was costly for one to transfer information from one place to another given the logistical limitations. Advancements in technology that have led to the lowered cost of the mobile telephone in the last ten years has drastically reduced the cost of communication in the world. This reduction in the cost of communication has resulted to an increase in the volume of information that can be transferred from one person to another.
Speed of communication
Communication is quite fast in the modern world as compared to the ancient times. Today, we can communicate to people outside our continent in real time using the telephone. Even more important is the connectivity of different continents through radio technology. This has made communication very fast and reliable.
Efficiency and effectiveness in communication
Efficiency refers to the achievement of goals with the good utilization of resources while effectiveness is geared towards the attainment of the objectives. The telephone industry has witnessed reduced call rates with increased competition in the last ten years. As a result of entry into the market by many players, the companies have been forced to utilize resources more efficiently and ensure quality in communication
Communication is now more impersonal
Unlike in the past where people could secretly communicate, the cell phone has made communication more impersonal in the last ten years. When you are talking to people over the phone, you probably do not have ant influence over who overhears your conversation. Even when text messaging is used, it can quickly be accessed by third parties. This means that communication is now more impersonal.
Perhaps, the most important aspect of the telephone and its impact on communication is the features that have been incorporated into the cell phone. Unlike the traditional telephone that was used basically for verbal communication, the modern telephone has very advanced features that have had revolutionary influence on communication. These features are elaborated below.
The last ten years have witnessed the inclusion of internet features in the mobile phone. Most of the phones today are 4G enabled especially the smart phones, meaning that it’s possible to browse at very fast speeds in the mobile phone. The inclusion of the internet in the mobile phone is a landmark development in the communication industry. With the mobile phone, one is able to send emails, MMS, chat, video conferencing, amongst other features. This has increased the ease and convenience of communication. Today’s mobile phone is an advanced communication gadget with radio and Television reception capabilities. (<http://www.cellphonecarriers.com/future-cell.html>)
The video chatting and conferencing are some of the advanced features of the mobile phone that allow real time communication across the globe with the help of the internet. This is a positive step in communication towards world integration in this era of globalization. Data communication features such as the blue tooth also allow the transfer of data from one cell phone to another, from a cell phone to a computer or vice versa. This has created efficiency in information sharing at a very cost effective way.
Volume of communication
A lot of communication is done today than any other time in the past. Statistics has it that in the United States, 91% of the population owns and/ or uses a mobile phone for communication. This is just an indicator of the volume of communication that is made possible by the use of mobile phones for the last ten years. This means that people are communicating more than before using more convenient means unlike the past where communication media was quite limited.
Formality of communication practices
In modern times, communication is more informal. The presence of social sites such as facebook and twitters that are accessible through the mobile phone have made communication more friendly and informal. Most people are using their mobile phones to access these social sites at the convenience of their homes.
Despite all the positive impacts that the telephone has had on communication, there is a down side too. The convenience, speed and connectivity of the modern cell phone has unfortunately resulted to a decrease in the quality of communication. People tend to take a lesser time to understand and think about what they intend to say. An accurately conveyed message may not be valuable as people take communication for granted. It’s easy to imagine that when a mistake is made, another phone call could easily fix the mistake. This creates a lot of inefficiency. The ability to call and fix a mistake does not make it acceptable.
Information technology has had far reaching impacts on communication. It can however be argued that the telecommunication industry has been the largest beneficiary of these technological advancements. This has led to the development of gadgets that have diverse capabilities. The cell phone has been modeled to make communication easier, convenient, efficient, fast and timely. It has however been used and abused by people due to the lack of standardized procedures and regulations concerning the use of these gadgets (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/english/iyh/products/cellphones.htm>.)