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When we think of social networking what usually comes to mind is the newest platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Gmail, etc. What people fail to realize is that social media is not a new trend; it is a continuous trend that has evolved from various platforms to what we have today. However, back then it was just referred to as “communication”.
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The communication aspect has always been dynamic and undergon various changes based on situations and lifestyles. In the past, different cultures created unique ways to communicate, like using smoke signals or hand written letters to send simple messages. Communication was only as fast as the messenger could travel. The use of hand written letters was the most common and efficient way to communicate. “These letters would travel far and near to arrive to their final destination (Technology Changes of the Past and Present Essays)” .For a messenger it would take about 100 miles a day, with a horse, to reach the receiver. A letter that was being delivered from Italy to Britain would have to cross land and sea. The delivery of this letter could take up to 30 days! As a result, the telegraph was a replacement for hand written letters in 1792. Claude Chappe is responsible for the initial telegraph that did not use electric signals. However, it was later improved to a telegraph that used electric signals. For those who do not know what the device is, a telegraph is a device used for transmitting messages from a distance along a wire.
Furthermore, the idea of using electric impulse as a means of communication was invented by Samuel Morse. Morse borrowed the idea of electric impulse through wires from Charles Jackson. Morse then invented a telegraphic system that transmitted signals over wires that translated information to different locations. At this time, this communication supported commercial systems. Morse constructed a system divided into three parts which was the sender, receiver, and the code. This language was then named “Morse Code”. This newly created form of communication led to the rapid development of telegraph cables that enhanced the transfer of information. Then in the 1800s, the world was able to connect the telecommunication networks together.
In addition, the modern means of communication are the building blocks from telegraph system; this started the production of radios, telephones, cable televisions and the internet. With the use of these devices, it enabled people to communicate much faster using messages, advertisement, and news which reached more people at a time. Thus making our lives a lot easier. Communication across seas and large distances are made even easier. We can now communicate with people with minimal effort such as typing a text and dialing a number. Now we don’t have to wait hours or even days for a reply. With the use of internet applications like Skype or Facebook, a person can easily communicate with overseas.
Similarly, there are positive effects on social lives. “Socializing is the key to create and maintain a healthy society (How We Communicate: Then and Now (USC Marshall School of Business: Exploring Social Business)”. The lives of people through socializing has allowed the spread of trends and culture. Through the help of communication media, we can handle our daily tasks and routines. This also allows people to communicate their plans and ideas over various platforms, most commonly the internet. Thus creating a more connected society.
Mass communications plays an important factor in our society. Now that communication is no longer restricted to a individual level, it has opened doors for large amount of people to receive the same message. Mass communication has been made easier due to the increase of options that are able to save time and effort. It has allowed for a message to be broadcasted millions, which ties back to the topic of a connected society which created a ground for ideas.
A final positive effect would be helping challenged users. While this may be unknown to many, communication technology has helped the physically challenged in many ways. There are specialized software that have been developed and proven to be a great medium of communication for these people. For example, if a disabled man was in need of assistance he could use an alarm to signal for help.
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Consequently, there are negative effects with the use of communication. There is the effects on health; due to the growing number of people becoming addicted to media and technology. The constant use of smartphones is extremely high; you can literally see people with their face buried into their phone anywhere. This addiction poses a health risk on the excessive use of cell-phones as this can cause headaches. The radiation given off the cell-phones can be harmful to an individual’s eyes or brain thus causing long-term effects. It is advised to keep this use of communication to a minimum.
People have the tendency to spend way too much time on social media. Since the cell-phone age, there was a large introduction of various social media platforms, it’s would common for a person to cling to a website or application. However, people would get so caught up in social media that they forget reality. They can get entangled with online drama to the point they even forget who they are. This leads to the misuse of communication; for instance, many people use communication platforms to participate in negative activities like cyber bullying, selling illegal drugs, and other cyber crimes. I believe that this affects the safety of communication platforms because there are so many ways people can get incarcerated or hurt in the process.
In conclusion, communication is a vital aspect of our society. It is the language humans use to get their message across to another. It amazing how it has evolved from a written letter to a actual virtual message through your cell device. While there are negative factors that take an important role in communication, it’s positive impacts are greater. I believe we getting closer to a towards the future by creating a connect society where we are able to share our experiences and messages from everywhere.
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