The modern times are characterized by the presence of digital devices and digital technology. As a result of this technological invasion, we see our surroundings filled with the digital equipment. The invasion of the digital devices and digital technology is so complete that every domain of our daily life is being run and influenced by the presence of the digital equipments. Without it, the existence and operational activities may well be hard to imagine. The digital communication means are part of our recreational function, business activities, domestic activities, governmental organizations and many other domains of our daily activities.
However, despite the developments the society is headed to a new shape. The new shape presents an isolated outlook of individuals who are occupied in the digital gadgets and have little time for real world social interaction.
As a result of this invasion into different domains of our social life, the impacts are directly telling on the manner in which we operate and undertake different activities. For example, the post mail letter finds little or no usage, and other digital means are incorporated for reaching out to the people. Email, which is formally known as the electronic mail serves for means of transport and communication between the two ends (DELEO). Each person who uses the internet, more than three quarters of people have a dedicated mailing id which reduces the need for conventional old form house address and other physical address variables that would be needed to reach an individual. The email address is globally access able over the medium of internet and anyone in any part of the world can be connected in a matter of seconds. The subsequent impact and gift is the fact that the current world is called digital citizens world.
The kids are spending more time in front of the televisions and computers than they would spend otherwise in the parks and playing fields. They are less socially active than the children three to four decades ago.
The children in the family remain confined to their rooms and their gadgets. Even during the meals the children are occupied using one or other form of the digital device that are present in abundance.
Social media is a gift of digital communications. Social media is the invention and introduction of the recent times. It was introduced only in the first part of the 21st century, and now it has become virtually active and important part of every individual who is digitally connected on the medium of internet. The social media comes in the form of famous websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Orkut, Badu, Hash-Tag and many other associated trending concepts and websites. These have reduced the need for interactive physical interaction. People in the different parts of the world are digitally connected to one another. They can tag, write, post or update their friends through this medium and source. As a new rule people may not have that many real life friends as many as they have on their social networking websites (Rainie and Wellman, 270).
While the social media has allowed for making new friends, it has led to the diminishing concepts of real life gatherings and weekend’s outings that were relatively more common in the previous decades.
Psychological dependency upon these digital devices has led to more prominent domination and presence in our surroundings. Individuals may find themselves handicapped without the presence of these digital devices that are present in different forms.
In the times before the invention of the digital means, the manual methods were in practice; these included face to face communication means, letter exchange or travelling from one place to other. With the passage of time, the developments slowly grew up, and the wired telephone systems were introduced. These allowed for establishing a connection on the voice front where the two ends could hear each other. Soon this was transformed to a wireless medium through the introduction of the wireless mobile phone systems. The wireless mobile phone systems brought about more active connection and connectivity. From Marconi’s inventions to the start of the art mobile phones in the modern times that possess a separate operating system within are the advancements and the journey that has been covered through the different periods.
As the time progressed, the developments started growing up. The analogue medium of mobile phones was soon transmitted and transferred into the digital medium of communication (Domine, 10). The digital media interface allowed for a more active interaction and more options oriented system support for the users. This allowed for the exchange of graphic material, video content and advanced video and voice quality. Along with these features, the advanced security mechanisms in the network made these mediums and these devices more likable and further handy towards usage. As a result, massive expansion and trust over these devices.
Advancements in the mobile phones in the form of First Generation communication to the Second and at present third and Fourth generation communication have made this all possible. This advancement has been made possible through the use of the different frequency ranges and spectrums. For example, the Fourth generation mobile phones make use of the Giga Hertz band and spectrum which allow for faster, reliable, accurate and least susceptible material that is shared on the different mediums (Packard, 74).
One of the many gifts of the digital communication is the internet. Internet is a digitally connecting medium that is spread across the world. It has over more than three billion people connected to it virtually. The internet serves as a source to many forms of connections and communications. The email services, video options, social media, all are made possible through the means of internet.
Navigation systems that come in along with the mobile phones and other digital devices have also removed the need for a physical paper dependent map reading. The vehicles on the road are equipped with these devices that in turn allow for easier navigation of the roots and easier access to the destination. All this has reduced and virtually eliminated the reliance on the manual methods of finding the track and reach the destination.
Radar and Sonar systems:
The Sonar and other means of finding the distance in the form of usage of Radars are another gift of the modern technology. The Radar system that is incorporated for the purpose of air traffic and other navigational purposes is made possible through these digital advancements. Without these, it would not be possible to fly the plane, or navigate through the deep sea in the form of the submarines. The connections so established with the submarines that go hundreds of kilometers deep down into the ocean are made possible through these digital means and advancements achieved.
The other side of technology:
The advantages of the digital communication are multifold. They have made the interactions rapider, they have made them relatively cheaper, they allow for saving money that would otherwise be spent on the physical performance and travelling that would otherwise be needed to perform communication. However, another angle of the digital communication and invasion is that of the isolation and high reliance on the digital and virtual world. While it in one way connects the people, it in other parallel leads to isolation and deprivation of the people from the conventional means of communication performance. A parallel dimension of the field of digital advancements is its usage and impact on the warfare and the communications performed and conducted during the war. Prior to the digital expansion, during the warfare, the manual methods of communication were in practice, this would allow for strategic time loss, in the modern times the digital means have allowed for massively quick and active means of connection establishment with the headquarters. The digitization of the data has also made it possible to protect the data from being broken on the way. The advanced coding schemes and other algorithms incorporated make it easy to operate and function in a more comprehensive way. It is not just the normal days where the digital media and interface helps, rather it is the emergency cases and the instance and event of the warfare as well that allows for active communication.
The computers are equipped with state of the art processors in modern times. A single processing case contains multiple processing units within which make them more fast than the previously held mainframe computers that would otherwise occupy place of an entire room within. In present times, a system hundred times stronger in processing takes up a mere portion of table space.
Another gift of the digital media is that of blogs. Blogs are the modern form of diary writing that are available and readable on the digital medium. They have overtaken the conventional form of diary writing that was predominantly in use and practice in the previous times before the digital media had crept into the social life of people.
Video conference is a gift of the digital communications. This source has helped different people in the different capacity. For example, it helps the individuals getting connected to their close ones in no time. Similarly, the business sectors and banking enterprises have benefited largely from the usage and presence of the digital devices and equipment. They enable the different branches and chains of an organization sitting together, holding meetings and discussing their important meetings and other decisions. The video conferencing tools have reduced and eliminated the need for transportation and travelling. This in turn has led to the reduced expenses over the arrangements that would otherwise be needed to organize the meetings and official ceremonies within the organizations (Drake¸649).
The fax machines are another aided gifts of the digital medium and digital communications. They allow for transferring a document to the other part of the world regardless of the distance and time. It is delivered in a mere couple of minutes. This allows for saving crucial time in exchange of data.
The digital means expansion have also reduced the costs of these digital and long distance communication establishment. While making a phone call through the conventional telephone set in the previous eras and centuries would require an exchange connection establishment, in the modern times it has been reduced and eliminated and a mere device that is held in hand, allows for getting connected to any part of the world for a very little amount. Some of the softwares and applications so introduced come for free and are only subject to installation of the application in the mobile phones devices which in turn allow for quick and instantaneous communication establishment.
Google Glass is one of the modern inventions and introductions that is standing as a promising technology. It will further bring about revolution in the field of digital communications. It will eliminate the usage and dependency over the conventional form of digital equipment so undertaken and adopted. All these devices so in place will have a direct impact on the people and society as a whole.
DELEO, JENNIFER L. How Tech Has Changed Our Lives. 13 Oct 2008. 7 May 2014 http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2332339,00.asp
Domine, Vanessa Elaine. Rethinking Technology in Schools Primer. Peter Lang, 2009
Drake, Miriam. Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, Second Edition. CRC Press, 2003
Packard, Ashley. Digital Media Law. John Wiley & Sons, 2012
Rainie, Lee and Barry Wellman. Networked: The New Social Operating System. MIT Press, 2012