Technology and the Evolution of Communication
Technology, driven by innovation, provided people with the ability to communicate with other people all over the world. Some would say this technology helped the masses to become more introverted as it has the potential to separate individuals from the neighbors across the street. The online environment was once used infrequently as cyberspace remained relatively unknown to the public. Individuals received their bills in the mail and in turn, wrote a check to pay the amount due, added a stamp to the return envelope, and returned it through the mail service. In 1990, Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau created the World Wide Web while working on hypertext systems (Groff & Pollermann, 1992). Technology by definition, is "the means or activity by which man seeks to change or manipulate his environment" (History of technology, 2010). As long as man has existed on earth, advancement has been accomplished by some type of technology. Dating back to the stone age, it is evident that technology existed in the simplest form as a spear or bow and arrow, which were used throughout most of the populated earth. Innovation provided a way for the weapons to be sharper and faster. Evidence of these innovations exists in the form of cave paintings spanning from Australia to areas in southern France and northern Spain. Although the date of the invention of the potter's wheel, the bow drill, and the pole lathe is unknown, some speculate that it was in the Late Neolithic Period. These invented and refined items helped the people of that period to fish, hunt game, and gather food. These people developed basic tools and weapons created by using the raw materials they had at their disposal. These weapons were then used to hunt for food, and the tools were needed to help with the development of food production. The basic need to eat generated innovations through the years and the gathering of food meant there was a need for planting, harvesting, and creating an irrigation system that worked to water the crops. Technology was at work as they created tools to help them plant, grow, and harvest their crops (History of technology, 2010). Giving consideration to these facts, humans moved forward in history. From the beginning stages of technology and the events during the Stone Age, to what people presently know and use in the world of technology, historians recognize that there may have been phases when technology developed at a diminished pace. Even through all this, the evolution of the concept was never completely halted. In the 19th century, the industrial revolution had a direct affect on the economic development of the United States as well as Britain and Europe. Four major inventions developed during this time, set the stage for future events. These included improvements made in the manufacturing processes within the textile industry, the invention of the telephone, the harnessing of electricity, and the expansion of transportation across the country into areas that previously took days and weeks to reach (Kelly, 2010). As one of the most recognized times for technology pushing innovation, this period in history provided man with the understanding and capability to invent new and faster ways of producing, developing, and traveling. During this same period, three inventors made a lasting change on the way in which people continue to communicate, even today. Thomas Edison was the first of the most recognized inventors of the time. His inventions, which included the phonograph, the light bulb, and the motion picture, had a direct affect on America's growth as well as its history. The second of the inventors, celebrated for his lasting contributions to communication, was Samuel F. B. Morse, recognized for how he changed the public communication system through the use of the telegraph. Morse's invention revolutionized the transmission of messages, not to mention the means...
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