The world we live in today is ever changing with the advancement of technology in our daily aspect of life. Technology has changed and improved the way we communicate and relate with each other, the way we shop, do businesses, the way we make plans for the future and has gone far by bringing the world closer than ever before. This essay will focus mainly on certain areas such as, the differences between the traditional communication and the current communication style. It will slightly elaborate on the various forms of digital communication.
I will also be discussing on how different cultures and societies practice digital communication and lastly on the negative and positive impact of digital communication. Communication is the backbone of interacting with other people. It is imperative to have effective communication because unclear messages lead to poor results. The definition of communication is the act or process of communicating; it is also the exchange of ideas, messages, or information, as by speech, signals, or writing. To communicate is to express one-self effectively.
Effective communication is of one the toughest issues today. With the advancement of technology, it has opened many ways of communicating. We live in the communication world of cellular phone, faxes, video conferences, internet connection and many more. The combining of technology and communication brings immediacy, integration, access and collaboration In today’s society we have more formats of communication than we ever before, we can choose to communicate face-to-face or through various forms of mediated technology which can also be referred to as digital communication.
However, before this new era of digital communication there were other means of communication known as the traditional communication. This form of communication can be said to be the old means of communication, as it involves various forms such as letter, telegram, fax, television, radio and newspapers and in most African countries drums and smoke was used as a means of communication. There are quite a number of differences between the traditional means of communication and the current communication style.
The main difference between the traditional and current communication style is the advancement of technology. The present styles of communication rely so much on technology and electricity to be effective and efficient unlike the traditional style. Sending a letter does not require much of technology as at years ago but of recent there have been a great improvement in the postal system, whereby letters can be tracked and present location can be known. The advancement of technology has provided for us all the benefit of having a reliable and efficient means of communication.
Traditional communication is much time consuming than what we have now, for instance, sending a letter through post is not as immediate as sending an email which is instantly received and a reply is almost certain. There is also the problem of misplacement of letters; there is a high possibility of letters been misplaced or not been delivered without the sender not knowing unlike sending an email, which the sender is immediately notified of the failure of delivery and even going to the extent of giving the reasons for the failure.
Before the introduction of digital communication the telephone system was very small for example, calls could not be made far. (Not many links with other places and countries). Now due to the introduction of technology phone lines have gone digital enabling higher speeds of transferring information. This led to the introduction of other technologies such as video conferencing, conference calling with many lines. E-mail, internet networks, web-sites, intranet are also used to communicate fast and easily.
Traditional communication provides no room for privacy, in the days of telegram; messages were been send and delivered with the help of someone. This prevents privacy as there are the chances of the content of the telegram known to the person helping in the sending and delivering the message unlike an email or instant messaging where there is privacy of information. Messages sent are guaranteed privacy unless information such as password is been shared. Traditional communication leaves not much room for communication to be available to distance and outside world.
As there is the limited chance of information not reaching due to it cost of transmitting, this has reduced the means of communication compare to what we have now, where information is available freely and globally to everyone with a computer and internet connection. It has bridge the gap between developing societies and developed societies as all information is readily available online. The situation of things happening in another part of the world is available without moving an inch from a computer.
Digital Communication is the exchange of information electronically. Recently, there has been a huge amount of change and development in digital communication. One of the significant changes within the digital revolution is a person’s ability to communicate with other people. In the 19th century, forms of communication were limited. In the 21st century, communication options have exploded to offer a wide variety of choices (e. g. , e-mail, cellular phones, instant messaging, etc).
The expanding digital communication options have changed everything because people are able to keep in constant communication with anyone else. Anyone is afforded the opportunity to access information anywhere and anytime Around the world at this very moment millions of people are using digital communication systems to send information, speech and video to locations thousands of miles away from themselves. But what are the various forms of digital communication? They can be almost anything involving communication.
There are of course the most obvious forms such as telephones, email and generally the Internet as a whole, intranet, teleconferencing, on-line chat, instant messaging, blogging, text chat, social networking websites (facebook, twitter, MySpace etc),Chat lines, bulletin boards, telecommuting and user groups are also classed as digital communication systems. Teletext is available to most people with television sets, it is delivered through the TV Ariel tangled with the picture signal, it offers users constantly updated, non-interactive pages of information, and it could be described as an electronic magazine.
Video conferencing is a vital form of digital communication for many businesses; it allows face-to-face meetings to take place without the participants being in the same room. ?Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to serve billions of users worldwide. It is a network of networks that consist of millions of private, public, academics, business, and government networks of local to global scope that are linked by a broad array of electronic and optical networking technologies. The internet carries a vast array of information resources and services.
The internet provides the infrastructure to support electronic mail (Email). Most traditional communications media, such as telephone and television services, are reshaped or redefined using the technologies of the internet. The internet has enables or accelerated the creation of new forms of human interactions and communications through instant messaging, internet forum emails and social networking sites. ?Email (electronic mail) was first used in 1971. Over the past years emailing has changed, you can email someone of a computer system and digital televisions, as well as portable devices such as some games consoles and mobile phones.
Sending and receiving an email is very easy and simple. You create your message and send it to the clients email address which is then sent to an individual post box on a mail server. The speed of sending emails is very fast and has now become instant. You can send an email to anyone 24/7 with no exceptions. Sending an email is free and you do not have to pay for each email you send. You can send emails using windows outlook express, msn hotmail or any other online email retriever. Using email it is now possible to send it is now possible to send multimedia elements, including sound, graphics, moving images and html code.
You can save emails and they can be stored in a database so you can go back to read them after, you can also print emails out, for future preference. ?Instant messaging, (IM) has become one of the most used internet services, as this service allows you to chat and communicate with anyone anywhere 24/7. This Instant messaging (IM) allows you to talk and interact with other people in real time from all around the world. This allows you to make conversation with a person or a number of people you would like to talk without having people you don’t know reading your conversation. One popular example of an IM service is MSN Messenger.
Images, files and other forms of electronic media can be transferred using instant massaging. To communicate using IM requires the other user and participants to be online at the same time unlike emailing. ?Chat covers a range of scenarios across a range of different networks including: internet relay chat (IRC) – an open protocol not controlled by any one provider web- based chat offered by ISP or portals such as yahoo or MSN. There is also the web- based chat offered by anyone with a website- often used to solve problems on a specific topic or leisure, and also chat rooms using SMS on mobile phones.
To communicate using IM requires the other user and participants to be online at the same time unlike emailing. ?Blogging a blog is a website, usually maintained by an individual. Blogs are a specialized for a website to create an online journal that other people can read and contribute to it. There are different types of blogs. E. g. personal blogs, corporate blogs and question blog. ?Social networking websites this is described as how people socialize or interact with each other throughout the World Wide Web. People are brought together through a variety of shared interests. There are different ways in which people want o socialize on the web today. The first kind of socializing is typified by “people focus” websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Myspace. These sites promote a person as a focus of social interaction and another advantage of the sites is that it helps to reconnect and keep updated on friends both old and new friends. The expansion of digital communication has gone beyond boarders, different cultures and societies are now jointly connected by digital communication. In most developed countries, digital communication has grown wide and large while in developing continent such as Africa, digital communication is just beginning to expand.
Research showed that 42% of internet users are based Asia, 24% based in Europe, 15% based North America, 11 % based in Latin America and Caribbean, 4% based in Africa, 3% in Middle East and 1% in Australia/ Oceania. With the figures showed it can be deduced that Africa been the second largest and second most populous continent with only 4% based internet users is far behind in the digital communication era. However, the use of mobile phones in Africa is enormous, as almost every household have access to mobile phones and are able to communicate with the world.
The rise of digital communication has increased communication between people all over the world and the internet, it has allowed people to express themselves through blogs, websites, pictures and other user generated means. There are many positive effects of digital communications of which I will be considering a few. ?Digital communication alter the meaning of geographic distance ? Digital communication allow for a huge increase in the volume of communication ? Digital communication provides the possibility of increasing the speed of communication ? Digital communication provides the opportunities for interactive communication ?
Digital communication allows forms of communication that were previously separate to overlap and interconnect. As a result of digital communication, technology globalization occurs. Globalization is generally stated as “more than expansion of activities beyond boundaries of particular nation states”. Globalization shortens the distance between people all over the world by the electronic communication. This has radically broken the connection between physical place and social place, making physical location much less significant for social relationships.
However, despite all the positive effects of digital communication there are however some negative sides of digital communication. Digital communication can expose young children and teenagers to things that can affect them very negatively, as almost every household have access to internet connection with children having free reign to use, the internet contains so many interactive and entertaining information just as well as very dangerous and inappropriate information that children and teenagers should be wary of.
One of the negative sides of digital communication is that it has reduced face-to –face contact between families, friends and colleagues. With the invention of all these technologies people have little time to meet up and chitty chat. However, digital communication has also helped with making plans easy such as sending an invite for party, with just one click email 100 invites can be sent out to 100 people.
People do and can take advantage of the emailing services that the internet provides and send inappropriate emails to other people’s inbox. The internet is known for its limited security due to hackers everywhere online, an unsecured computer is at risk of contacting virus or more worst the information on the computer can be available to other computer users. Internet fraud is another one of the negative side of digital communication; business had to take extra measures to protect the identity of customers and their personal information’s.
Lastly, although this can be disputed digital communication is not utterly cheap, depending on location of individual which it reduce the cost, people in certain part of the world such as Africa and developing countries pay a higher rate to enjoy the benefits of digital communication. In conclusion, despite the few negative sides of digital communication the advantages are so enormous that any negative side can be overlooked. It has become part of our day to day and of great importance and provides for us sufficient accessibility to information’s and communication.