How Technology Has Affected Communication
From the beginning of man and his derivative need to transfer an idea from one person to the next, man as a whole has strived to increase his reach for this transfer. Whether it is to communicate to more people, or further distances, it has been an ongoing quest since the beginning of time. We will cover the human advancement in technology as it pertains to the way we communicate. Several online sources were used, as well as two books by well know authors in this field. It does seem to reason that the beginning of this process was slow to start, due to the delinquency of other advancement. Once the key blocks were in place, current or modern day communication was just around the corner. It took 1300 years to go from making books to making newspapers, but only 9 years to go from a typewriter to a copy machine. What is next.
In the Beginning
Since the beginning of man, monkey, or whatever belief in evolution a person may have, the advancement of technology has changed the way one being communicates with another. Our ability to cognitively communicate is what differentiates us from the rest of the Animal species. “Language is perhaps the most important single characteristic that distinguishes human beings from animal species” (Matthews, 1996) Species of all types are known for their inherent ability to pass along a message of a sort from one to another. Some examples of this are; Ants using pheromone trails to inform other ants of where food they found is located at. Next are cobra snakes that open their hoods to scare away other creatures. Also, wolves howl to inform the pack of danger or food. And lastly, baboons groom each other to show affection. Each one of these examples plays a part into the different senses. Smell, sight, hearing, and touch. Communication is not always an audible or visual expression, but can also be expressed by other senses. “These basic forms of communication give form to the origins of man’s voyage of communication evolution. The ability to communicate is vital to a species’ survival, and all animal species communicate, some in ways that are impressively proficient. But none achieve the precision the precision and flexibility that characterize human communication, a capacity due in large part to the uniquely human ability to use language” (Deacon, 1997) In the beginning of the human exploit of communication, for the basic premise of this paper, we will start with the conceptual idea that man began communication with a series of grunts, groans, and body gestures. From there, the grunts and groans turned into a formed, methodical language. Where sounds, or words, were assigned meaning, and then arranged in an order to display a conceptual idea. In the beginning of historical documented communication, humans first created artistic murals in the form of cave paintings or etchings to capture a moment, or historic event. These works ranged from; a great hunt or directions for travel during migrations, which were often left for others to follow. Somewhere around 3500 B.C. to 2900 B.C. is the approximated time period that the beginning alphabets were established by the Phoenicians, Sumerians, and Egyptians. This establishment of language began art of basic written systematic language. Ironically enough, it wasn’t till over a thousand years later, 1775 B.C.; the Greeks begin to use a phonetic alphabet similar in design to what we have in use today. It included a huge similarity of how we read from top to bottom, left to right. Our next historic leap did not take place till well after 1600 years later in China. This step can be made to be arguably the largest step in communication. On around 105 B.C. Tsai Lun invented paper as we know it. This is also the point where we can see a more rapid advancement in technology. Only 5 years later the invention of a type of press was invented, thereby starting the mass media...
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Deacon, T.W. (1997). The symbiotic species: the co-evolution of language and the brain. New York, NY: W.W. Norton
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