Today’s average person would conclude his day with a glance at his trusty smartphone. This quick peek often prompts a never-ending session of browsing random web pages, jumping from one topic to another, uncovering information more than his mind could take in. On other days, he would chat with some of his friends and feel the dead of night approaching. Just a few years ago it was a different story.
Technology has been so knitted into virtually every human activity that you must be living under a rock if you don’t get any sense of what we’re saying. The internet, along with mobile technology, has made it possible for everyone to obtain news as it happens and connect with people across all the seven continents of the world fast and without any obstruction.
Before technological advancements and the internet made access to information and communication this easy, man had his bouts with paper—and lots of it.
A quick look back
Allow us to usher you back to the days were group research projects in school were actually a lot of work. When classes ended, your whole team would go to the library, outline the research, and divide the topics among the number of people in the group. Each then would scour the library for encyclopedias, books, magazines, journals, and videos with information on the topic they were assigned to, but the work didn’t end there. Each member then would write down what they had gathered on a notebook or paper and create one cohesive subtopic that would consist of at least around three paragraphs; making up a 500-word piece that took hours to finish.
Human communication on the other hand, went from various devices that were platforms for quick calls and short message exchanges to just one handy device you can stuff in your pocket. I remember sending cards to my dad who works overseas and being so happy whenever I got a reply back in the form of a letter or postcard days to months afterwards.
Among the most significant communication technologies created was the telephone. It permitted two or more individuals to speak to each other via cables or transmission media no matter the distance. The cost of calls goes up the greater the distance. Then pagers/beepers came into the scene, presenting a much cheaper form of communication through numeric messages displayed on a tiny screen or announced voice messages in some models. What came after was the beginning of the era of mobile phones.
Humans have the innate ability to adapt to changes in their environment to survive. In the same way, we also progressed together with technology that continued to improve. Adapting to the developments in the field of tech isn’t just about having the coolest gizmos or evading the “fear of missing out” blues, we subscribe to these tools for we know it would help us get through every day.
With technology and the internet evolving to complement each other better, the moment where you’ll see everyone surfing the vast world wide web on handy, portable devices has come. The manner in which communication and information technology is going can be compared to playing arcade games. Each level is a step up from another, with your character made stronger through the help of better weaponry and increased skills.
Similarly, we have now advanced to a level where we are equipped with very capable tools for the trade and the skills to bring out their full potential. Through the help of these tools, from tackling a dozen books and other materials, we now get information we need in seconds, we have likewise evolved from processes that took days, to speedy, real-time exchanges that close the gap created by distance.
What was before considered a premium—encyclopedia subscriptions, large dictionaries, telephone plans, prepaid dial–up internet have become democratized. Quality communication and access to information from across the world are now accessible at low costs through electronic media. The only investment that’s going to be made is for purchasing an internet–connected device along with an internet connectivity plan. The former, considering you bought a capable device, would be good for at least three years, and the latter depends on how long you want to be subscribed to it.
Information and communication in the 21st century
Mobile devices and the internet, together, have made the process of obtaining information and communication quick and natural. The internet has made it possible for people the world over to access information and contribute to the world wide web’s network of shared knowledge like never before. Students can study online through online courses (e-learning), anyone can learn various skills for free through video tutorials, you can even search just about anything and get an answer instantaneously. The vast knowledge available to anyone with just a click of the mouse also helped us discuss more intelligibly; this is thanks to tools for translating unfamiliar statements, giving meaning to an unknown word, getting information on foreign concepts, and even gathering tips on the basics of human life.
Technology has also changed the way we keep up with the latest news and current events. With social media and the many features of our mobile devices, we are given to freedom to be our own journalist. The explosion of social media, live coverage of news streamed through our phones, and other media-related initiatives tied with technology have resulted in universal access and involvement in news and information for everyone.
Developments in communication have taken down barriers. Through interactive platforms like email, social media, and chat apps, we are linked to all the people of the internet. All these help condense volumes of communication and send them throughout the globe within seconds.
The superiority of technology has greatly altered the processes with which we communicate and get information. The huge world where we live in has become small through the tools we have at our disposal. There may be negative attitudes and whatnot that have stemmed from this, but the positive impact it has brought upon our lives easily outweighs the cons.
Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE July 2016 issue
Words by Mia Carisse Barrientos
Artwork by Theresa Eloriaga