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Looking at Communication Technologies Are and How They Affect Our Daily Lives

By mogleyzw Apr 01, 2011 980 Words
Technologies such as Facebook, Youtube, mobile phones and smart phones are just a few of the new technologies and applications being used every day by our generation to communicate. I am going to be looking at what some of these communication technologies are and how they affect our daily lives and finally answer the question if we the youthful generation of today would not be able to function without these communication technologies.

First how would we define communication technologies? Information and Communication Technologies, ICT is an extension for communication technologies and is defined as an “umbrella term that includes any communication device or application, encompassing: radio, television, cellular phones, computer and network hardware and software, satellite systems and so on, as well as the various services and applications associated with them, such as videoconferencing and distance learning” (ICT (information and communications technology - or technologies) 2003). Looking at this definition we see that the ICT covers a wide range for subjects and mediums of communictions to travel, my research is going to be based mainly on modern technologies mainly the birth of the Internet and in particular social sites as well as the arrival of mobile phones, looking at how they were used and how they are used today.

Social networks are defined as by Boyd and Ellison, “are web-based services that allow individuals to construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system” (Boyd and Ellison 2008). Software like this had made it possible to see what a wide range of people are doing at the same time from the safety of one’s own home. Updates on people’s profiles ensure that we are never out of the loop with what is going on not just in ones immediate circle of friends but worldwide.

When mobile phones first came out they were used mainly by a few people but, mobile phone possession for Australians grew by 44 per cent in 1998 to 72 percent in 2003 (White and Whn 2008). In 2004 Tjong stated “ young peaople drive the booming market of mobile phones in Australia. Of fifteen to seventeen year olds, 80 percent own or have access to mobile phones, while the age of first ownership is estemated at fourteen years old” (White and Whn 2008). The age of mobile phone is getting younger, were as mobile phones on 1998 may have been used to conduct business, today they are used as a distraction “halt unwanted converstions with friends and strangers alike” (Baron 2008) with the abundance of apps and features such as video and music playback. Having a mobile phone is appart of who we are and one of those devices people feel lost without.

This generation likes to be ‘on’ all the time. From all the social networks and things that we can do using our mobile phones we are always on and in touch with everybody. In the past, things we could have told in a long conversation such as a trip to Italy can be summed up by a series of pictures on a Facebook album [ (Baron 2008) ] arguable making use mores social and less at the same time. When it came to birthdays they are never missed but people opt with the less social method of wishing happiness through posting an online greeting rather that making a phone call (Baron 2008). Short messages get one point across without having to make idle small talk. In a way it is more efficient for our fast paced life, where everything has to be faster. But would we be able to function without them? Since the beginning of the year the world has been hit with some devastating natural disasters. People who had never read a newspaper were kept up-to-date with the constant Twitter tweets and Facebook post that they were kept in the loop of global events. Living as a part of this generation which has increasing become paperless it would not be possible living without these communication technologies.

Looking at all the examples I gave, the ability to connect with people all around the world is essential for our day to day lives. We can selectively see and hear what we want to, anywhere using our phones as well as talk to whomever we want to, it is luxuries like this which makes them essential and there growth fundamental. Research has shown that as of 2007 in Australia there were more mobile phones in service than the Australian population with 21.3 million mobile phones. There was also an increase of 192 percent in 3G mobile customers with 4.5 million users being able to use the Internet along with all of these social network sites with their mobile phones [ (ACMA 2008) ]. To summaries if all communication technology were to cease the world as a whole would be lost.

Bibliography

ACMA. Australian Communications and Media Authority Communications Report 2006-07. 28 April 2008. http://www.acma.gov.au/WEB/STANDARD..PC/pc=PC_311135 (accessed March 10, 2011).

Baron, Naomi S. “The people we become: The cost of being always on.” In Always On: Language in an online and mobile world, by Naomi S Baron, 214-226. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Boyd, D. M., and N. B. Ellison. “Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship.” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 2008: 210–230.

ICT (information and communications technology - or technologies). 18 September 2003. http://searchcio-midmarket.techtarget.com/definition/ICT (accessed 3 10, 2011).

White, Rob, and Johanna Whn. “Youth in a digital age.” In Youth and Society: Exploring the Social Dynamics of Youth Experiences, by Rob and Johanna Wyn White, 210-222. Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press, 2008.

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