Explain how technology has impacted communication. Provide an example of how technology has influenced how you communicate.
Instant communication from around the world is possible thanks to the development and spread of the internet and satellite technology. Today, internet communication is used by governments, corporations, citizens and others to quickly relay messages to potentially millions of people without significant effort. This is useful, but it has altered communication significantly.
Modern technology is fast and convenient, so people rarely wait for the television or newspaper for important news. The speed of modern technology has altered the nature and demands of communication. For example, in 2011 during the Queensland floods, Police used their Facebook profile to deliver emergency warnings, and their posts generated 39 million views over that time (Cenere et al. 2015, p. 51).
This method was considered effective because most people were checking their phones rather than their television, and the message reached a larger number. The massive reach and instantaneous nature of communication on the internet has altered communication, making speed and convenience a necessity.
Modern methods of communication through technology has also affected satisfaction when communicating with others. Many people prefer face-to-face relationships and speaking, rather than the impersonal nature of texting. In a study conducted by Goodman-Deane and others (2016, p. 226) on user satisfaction with communication technology, it was found that people are generally more satisfied with face-to-face contact and phone calls when it comes to close family and friends, and less satisfied with texting or email.
Personally, I agree that face-to-face communication is more satisfying. I text fairly often and it always seems to come off as abrupt and impersonal, so I have to explain myself frequently. Modern communication technology is more efficient, but it lacks a personable nature. I am reminded of Priestley’s Paradox (cited by Eunson 2016, p. 7) on communication: “the more we elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate.”
Cenere, P, Gill, R, Lawson, C & Lewis, M 2015, ‘Communication skills for business professionals’, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, Vic
Eunson, B 2016, ‘Communicating in the 21st century’, 4th edn, John Wiley & Sons, Milton, Qld.
Goodman-Deane, J Mieczakowski, A, Johnson, D, Goldhaber & T, Clarkson, P 2016, ‘The impact of communication technologies on life and relationship satisfaction’, Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 57, pp. 219-229.