Influence of Technology on Communication

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In a similar fashion, recent changes on the way we are able to communicate today brought forward by the arrival of new technologies such as the internet, and new platforms such as chat rooms and social media websites, are not only changing the way we communicate with the outside world or our language itself, but they are also having an impact on our social habits. Anne Fadiman’s “Mail”, an essay found in Robert Atwan’s The Best American Essays, fifth college edition, helps us navigate through the evolution of mail as a form of communication once used by multitudes; today considered an endangered species. Fadiman’s recollection of her memories as a child helps us realize the fervor with which our parents and grandparents used to regard paper mail. She tells us specifically how her father used to eagerly wait for the mail to arrive, “Some years ago, my parents lived at the top of a steep hill. My father kept a pair of binoculars on his desk with which, like a pirate captain hoisting his spyglass to scan the horizon for treasure ships, he periodically inspected the mailbox to see if the flag had been raised” (310). From this passage we can deduct that mail played an important role in her father’s life. Years ago people used to depend on mail to maintain communication among each other. They would send invitations to special occasions, letters that contained important news or letters that expressed their feelings. At one point sending and receiving mail was regarded of as a delicate craft and the practice was embedded into social etiquette. One could assume that due to the importance that mail had in people’s lives, it was important to honor the rules that govern our language, and authors would pay close attention to grammar, prose and spelling, perhaps to avoid being ridiculed by their audience for their “sins” when writing. This is not the case in our modern society.

Technology has allowed us to communicate instantly with someone halfway across the world, but in...
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