I would like to acknowledge chefmancave for the idea to write an article about the evolution of communication and its effects. Make sure to check out his page because he writes great articles about various recipes!
What Has Happened?
Communication has completely changed generation after generation. Every year companies seem to put out a new technology used for communication that is better than the one that came out the previous year before. The new technology that comes out has simpler ways of communicating, a more technological way of communicating, and multiple new technological aspects. You may ask yourself, how has the way of communication changed over the course of our lives from our past generations? You also may wonder, is the way that communication has changed beneficial to the world or not? Let’s start with the change in direction our world of communication has taken from verbal one-on-one to the overbearing-share-everything-about-my-life social media.
The Evolution Process
For those of you who are reading, communication is not what it would have been in your grandparent's day when they were your age. Heck, most of your grandparents would not even be able to read this article in their day!
It is known that before Christ, humans used pictures a lot for communication and telling stories. For example, the Egyptians created their scrolls using reed brushes and had their stories painted on the walls in various temples. Pictures were a major form of communication very far back in history. Although this is important, we aren't going to glance that far back.
Let’s begin with the year 1752 when Benjamin Franklin discovered electricity. This is important because we would not have any of the technology that we are privileged to have without electricity. During this time, before cell phones and computers and any other technology was even thought of, people simply spoke face-to-face with each other, or wrote letters with a quill pen. Writing letters was the easiest way of communicating with someone that did not live close by, you could not just simply walk next door to their house to have a conversation. Although electricity was discovered, hard wiring, cords, computers, and phones were still a long way off.
Finally by 1837 Samuel Morse created the first working telegraph which was a machine used to transmit electrical currents through a wire and was usually in the form of Morse code. It was a big change in history, but still far off from communicating directly through a piece of technology to hear someone’s voice or see someone directly.
In 1868 the first typewriter was invented which was a change compared to handwriting with a quill and paper. People began to write their letters, novels, or stories with their typewriters because it made the process of writing pieces much simpler and quicker.
The first telephone was created by Alexander Gram Bell in 1876 and finally people could pick up a piece of technology and talk directly to someone on the other end of the line. Then much later in 1940 the first mobile device for communicating was created, but it was only for authorities such as police officers. Three years later the first computer was introduced to the world. By 1946 mobile phones were introduced for people to be able to purchase and have, although they looked drastically different compared to the average cell phone of today.
After all of this time of speaking through very large telephones and still writing letters (although now with pens), the first email system was created in 1972 so people could write letters and send them online rather than through the mail, but again this program started strictly for just government and authority figures.
When internet and computers became more popular to have in any average household; MSN, Skype, and Facebook were created. MSN was created in 1995, one of the first instant messaging programs through social media. MSN is rarely used anymore. Skype was released in 2003 and became one of the biggest video chat media sources ever, still used regularly today. Created by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004, Facebook became evolutionary to the world of social media and is still one of the biggest social media websites used. The late 1990`s and early 2000`s was when social media became a booming industry and various social media platforms were created.
Very Old Version of the Cell Phone
How has this Effected Today?
Because of this evolutionary process, people hardly write letters back and forth to each other because they can simply sign into their Facebook accounts and send a message instantly. Instead of calling, people now grab their cell phones and send a text message to whoever they wish to contact. People have begun to give up their landlines for their home telephone numbers and just started to use their cell phones as their main contact number. There are so many drastic changes compared to simply writing pictures on Egyptian walls to tell stories.
There are definitely positives and negatives to technology and changes in communication. I have thought up some of my own pros and cons to the topic of communication's evolution.
Is the Evolution of Communication a Good Thing?
You are able to talk to people from across the world such as family or friends
Having social media means that there are more online predators
You have the ability to contact people at any time. This is great for if you happen to have an emergency and you are not at home or in a public place
Children's writing becomes improper (I grew up in a generation where teachers had to inform students that using words like "cuz" and other shortcuts is not proper for academic papers)
Certain websites allow people to practice writing and communication in a positive way, such as Hubpages
Often at times there is miscommunication and wrong interpretation about what someone texts you or through an online message which creates conflict because people assume the person sending the message has a certain attitude
Social media opens up doors for people working in the media industry
Social media sidetracks students from school and adults from their work
You can ask a peer a question immediately instead of forgetting about it before you see them
People no longer know how to talk one-on-on properly nor do they talk in person as often
You are able to have access to sources such as online counselling and other help websites
People have more online friends than they do friends that they actually hang out with and see (this can be seen as unhealthy)
Some people find making a status about something that is on their mind a quick stress reliever
Social media becomes a popularity contest with how many "likes" a person gets on their photos and statuses. Those who do not have many likes become deemed as "unpopular"
Overall technology can be seen as both something good for our world and as something bad. Everyone has their own opinions about technology. Some people choose to use it regularly, others not so much. There is no right or wrong answer in this situation. I am someone who can not go a day without using my cell phone to text my closest friends that are at universities very far away from where I am. I am grateful for technology and social media to be able to interact with them and maintain my friendships with people I have known my whole life. Although I am someone who uses technology very regularly, I can fully admit to the fact that it does distract me in class. Technology has made communication something so simple and easy to do, but is it really beneficial to our lives? Do we NEED technology to survive? Certainly not. I will let how you feel about the changes in communication ultimately be up to you.
Is New Communication Good or Bad?
The history of computers, communication, electronics and space - http://www.city-net.com/~ched/help/general/tech_history.html
The history of writing instruments - http://www.ringpen.com/history.html
© 2015 Christy Maria
SARA from Islamabad on May 09, 2019:
Want an epic piece of writing with real facts. Thanks for sharing.
ezzly on February 26, 2015:
This is very thought provoking and well written ! I have to say my young nephews are glued to old iphones their parents gave them and its hard to get two words out of them ! Voted up !
Christy Maria (author) on February 15, 2015:
I completely agree. I loved to write letters to my friend that had moved away when we were young, but when email came around personal letters became irrelevant. That being said I also enjoy being able to skype my personal friends at far away schools and cousins in Europe, actually being able to see them. I also am indecisive on whether technology and new communication is beneficial or not.
Denise McGill from Fresno CA on February 15, 2015:
I couldn't vote... the jury is still out on whether it's good or bad' although I'm leaning toward bad it could get better. I do miss the personal touch with letters, handwriting and sending snail mail cards. Still, I remember being in Spain and giving birth to my first daughter but not being able to call my mother in California because of the extreme Trans-Atlantic rates. A cell phone back then would have been so helpful.
Christy Maria (author) on February 14, 2015:
Thank you very much. I always appreciate your support Bill. I will be looking forward to reading your piece about this topic as well!
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 14, 2015:
I do think we are growing ever-further apart, and I think technology has played a role in that. I find it a bit disconcerting, quite frankly. Oddly, I have an article coming out next week about this topic...stay tuned. In the meantime, nice job with this.