Communications technology is the term used to describe the various methods of correspondence that are currently available. The term mainly refers to computer based means of sending and receiving information. Examples include texting, voicemail, email, social networking and various websites.
Social networking sites such as bebo, facebook, myspace and twitter allow people to expand their network of friends via the internet
Communications technology has seen something of a revolution over the past five years or so. Wireless internet is now readily accessible for private households and is available in many public areas such as colleges, cafes, restaurants and hotels. Mobile phone technology has seen a huge advancement, allowing people to call, text, play games, download music and access the internet via their smartphones. Social networking sites such as bebo, facebook, myspace and twitter allow people to expand their network of friends via the internet. These sites provide a canvas for people to display information about themselves and regularly update via newsfeeds. Blogging is another advance in communications technology which allows the ‘blogger’ to update and share his/her opinions on certain subjects and themes.
Communication technology has generated many advantages for individuals, business and society.These advantages include the following:
- There is more information available to individuals at a much quicker pace. This allows more ‘foxlike,’ associative thinking which can have advantages intellectually in areas like maths and science, as seen in South Korea.
- It presents a means for fast long-distance communication. This is good for businesses as they can set up shop online, which allows people to buy goods internationally.
- It provides a base for mass communication. Businesses and colleges use mass email to inform their employees and students of relevant information.
- Businesses can improve their marketing and advertisement techniques by targeting their specific target market. Facebook ‘likes’ allow for specific interests to be targeted and smartphone apps can track where people go and what stores they visit. In this way, businesses can aim promotions and other public relations accurately.
- More recent advances, such as V marketing and Microsoft surface provide another dimension in which public relations can take place.
- Social networking and virtual living grant a more comfortable way of socialising to those with social drawbacks such as awkwardness or disability.
- The booming communications technology economy has created many new jobs within the sectors of computer science, digital marketing etc. According to Paul Dickinson, founder of the Carbon Disclosure Project, “an advanced communications network would form the backbone of a communications economy that has the potential to generate more economic value with less environmental impact, creating jobs, reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and decreasing reliance on imported oil.” However, those countries involved in this digital revolution must seize this opportunity in order to achieve a more “sustainable future.”
Communications technology also has some disadvantages on private and public life
- The reduced social interaction that occurs due to increased use of communications technology can result in a lack of social learning. Common courtesy such as tact, politeness and listening skills may become obsolete. Professor Susan Greenfield of Oxford University christened this ‘infantalisation’ or childlike behaviour due to a lack of social skills.
- Internet addiction is a huge problem, especially in South Korea where there are over 210,000 child internet addicts. Some of these children spend up to 18 hours a day on the internet.
- Excessive time on the net can decrease an individuals ability to concentrate and apply themselves to something long term, such as to long-form reading. This is known as a reduction in ‘hedgehog type behaviour.’
- Electronic communication does not allow for non-verbal communication, such as body language and facial expressions, to emphasize a message, which leaves messages open to misinterpretation.
- The Digital Divide refers to the inequalities and differences that are born by the digital era. This divide includes disparities in age, race and income.
- The huge free flow of information across the internet has allowed many individuals to bypass censorship in a variety of ways. This had led to a series of unlawful acts including data breaching, cyber bullying and child pornography. Complete and solid censorship is in the hands of ISP’s such as eircom and BT Ireland to uphold.
E-fax is on online fax service used by over 11 million customers worldwide. It is the largest digital fax network. It works via email so there is no need for paper, toner or a fax machine. The customer only needs an email account with any server.The service gives you a 30 day free trial and 300 free pages. The customer chooses their own fax number and can add it to their business card. E-fax then sends their faxes via email attachment, and they can receive forward and save faxes within their email also.
NeonSMS is an online SMS service that allows customers and businesses to send group texts and receive replies. No software is required, only access to the internet via computer or smartphone. The service can be followed on facebook, twitter and linkedin. In order to send group text messages the customer must:
- Set up an account with neon by registering their account and contact details. To send group texts the customer clicks ‘bulk text’ on the navigation bar and click ‘new job.’
- The customer’s contacts can be dragged into recipient groups for the group message to be sent. Alternatively, a CSV file containing the contacts can be uploaded and the bulk message sent.