Current Trends and Social Implications of Modern Communication

Members:

Kysha Cruz, Jestine Gascon, Lui Mendoza, Raphael Orosa, Jude Que,  Ariel Quitangon, Doods Sale

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Before the dawn of the internet, people never could have have imagined the technological norms we have today. To those people, a mobile device used to communicate with anyone in the world was inconceivable, but now that we have all these smartphones and tablets connected to services such as Facebook and Skype, it make the world seem smaller. You no longer need to send a human messenger to travel great distances just so he can deliver a letter to that one person, nor do you need a thorough knowledge of the language of codes just so “enemy” forces won’t intercept your message. Nowadays, everything is as simple as a mere press of a button and your message will instantaneously be delivered. On the other hand, in today’s society, no amount of privacy will ever truly be safe as the amount of information being freely communicated through these channels by the second is taken for granted.

By its definition, communication is the act or process of sharing of information (Merriam-Webster), the most basic and most common of which is the conveyance of words through speech or writing. With the advent of communications technology, the definition became much larger in a way but at the same time, still retained in its most common application. Long ago, the word “communication” would have instilled a simple image of oral conversation or the delivery of paper with words on it, nowadays, the term “communication” is more likely associated with technologies such as telephones, televisions, computers and the internet. The role that these technologies play in transmuting communication into becoming a widespread and worldwide phenomenon has greatly impacted us as a society on how we perceive communication as a whole. By extension, this can also be a symbolism as to how technology’s role in making life more efficient can greatly alter our collective mindset, convincing us to see and define things differently.

One thing that communication is constant with is its adaptation to changes in society. As technology continues to pursues a near ubiquitous system, such with the ease of transmitting messages on various channels, modern communication is constantly being redefined. As was stated, the most basic of forms of communication have always been through verbal or written manners, but the medium at which these are being communicated have been much more rapidly changing and diverse within the past decade or so than it did centuries ago. We have texting, instant messaging, email, blogs, podcasts, and connections through various social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram which make communicating with a wide audience possible. The manner at which people communicate using these services, especially with the youth, have changed as well, opting for shorter delivery and quicker response rather than a more cohesive and concise thought. Language itself has changed. To the uninitiated, acronyms like LOL, WTF, OMG and many more may seem like nothing more than gibberish, but for today’s generation, these are as understandable as the words you are reading now.

Modern communication has also made it possible for people to converse and initiate discussions without the need for physical interactions. Communication is no longer restricted by time and space nor is it strictly a private matter as the current media, through the wonders of the internet, have made it easier for a lot of information to be transmitted publicly. Take Twitter for example. Imagine you are prominent figure and you accidentally tweeted publicly a scandalous image you meant to send directly to one of your followers. No matter how fast you managed to delete the tweet, the response of your followers would be quicker that most likely a number of them already took a screenshot of said tweet only for it to be republished again and again. At the same time, you have no guarantee that the person you were supposed to send the image to would have kept it for himself/herself. Once it is published, it is permanent. That tweet, somehow, somewhere, will forever be on the internet as a reminder of just how powerful today’s communication technologies are.

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Although the internet is already a relatively old technology, it has been constantly paving the way for more innovations and trends in communication to catch on to the general populace due to it’s globalized, widespread nature. One of the staples of today’s generation in terms of communication mediums is social networking. Nowadays, social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter have evolved to become venues for advertisements and promotions through monetized status updates. Certain popular accounts or celebrities make use of their thousands, or sometimes millions, of friends or followers to make advertisements more efficient and easier to consume. These social network advertising strategies have also given a great opportunity for companies to interact with their customers and receive feedback on their products and services. Overall, the success of social network advertising can be attributed to the popularity, efficiency and ease of access that it parallels with social networking sites as well.

Social networking is also constantly evolving in terms of its accessibility. These days, not only can it be accessed in the internet browsers of personal computers, but also in many of today’s smartphones which are also widespread in usage among most individuals today. With the high demand to make accessibility and efficiency even faster, smartphones take advantage of software dedication of various social networking sites and communications mediums through applications or “Apps”. With these apps, social networking services are no longer bound to computer or phone browsers, and there is direct access and optimization to the service at hand being provided by the application. With these smartphones, not only is communication through social networking apps augmented with portability to any location with internet connection, but the hardware capabilities within these smartphones are also being integrated as a factor of social networking as well. The most common example, is the integration of photography and videography with social networking apps such as Instagram and Vine. With services such as these, users are able to integrate their smartphone cameras in social networking as a means of sharing videos and photos instantly. There  are also applications which also make use of the calling feature within smartphones to host free internet calls and video calls such as Viber and Skype. Although these apps haven’t made telecommunication calls obsolete, they are still efficient and reliable alternative which take advantage of internet connection. All-in-all, smartphones have also played a crucial role in advancing the usage of social networking as an efficient communications medium.

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Living in a post-industrial society, the age of information has definitely changed the paradigm of lifestyle for its people. Occupational opportunities themselves have evidently evolved, beginning from the agricultural age where raw muscle was the main provider for revenues, towards the industrial age where agriculture was degraded by the conception of factories, and now leaning to the post-industrial age where information has become the most vital piece of service oriented occupations in modern day society. Observation dictates that there was a radical change as time progressed forward, and it was a change that involved the concept of rationalization, which can be defined as the means of getting work done. A shift from a goods to a service dominated economy had several bearings on society. Occupational opportunities shifted from a manpower and raw muscle based source of capital and gave information a better and different kind of significance. There arose new needs, and more job opportunities in services, giving rise to corporations such as Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, and the like who have created a supply to meet the demand for the population’s technological needs.

The concept of social networking has also given people in the modern world several new implications and changes towards their lifestyle. Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites have created a virtual space for everyone, anywhere around the world, to be interconnected. Issues and trends such as death of celebrities and popular figures (Paul Walker, Nelson Mandela), different political issues, technological and scientific discoveries, and even papal news, are not only widespread through the use of social media, but also given a deeper emphasis because of posts of the greater half of the population who show concern about these pressing issues. Everyone who has a social media account suddenly have a say, magnifying the grace of freedom of speech. The whole process of it all has gathered a better understanding of social awareness. Through status updates, tweets, photos, links to new reports, and stories all over the world, down to the darker corners of the globe, information has become as accessible as reading the newspaper in the morning, and it cannot be denied that it makes the world feel like a smaller place.

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In this fast paced world, modern communication has been changing again and again in smaller intervals in between each change. The faster changes in modern communication trends molds society into a faster paced lifestyle. Case in point, we get impatient quite regularly with a lot of things. For example, fast food was invented since it provides us a quick way to satisfy our hunger, and yet still we get pissed when the delivery doesn’t come on time for even just a few minutes. Whenever we send a text message to a friend, it has become an etiquette to require a quick and meaningful response (i.e. “K” is never acceptable).

We believe that these current trends in modern communication have changed and evolved the social implications on society’s social behaviors. These two aspects of modern communication are somewhat related to one another — where current trends in modern communication affect the social implications of modern communication. For example, the current trend of going on twitter to broadcast what you are thinking or doing in a span of 140 characters compliments news in a way. The social implications of the use of these technologies leads to, in most cases, a we-the-people mindset of everyone having a voice that deserves to be heard, and a spirit of having to take action (or choosing not to).

It is true enough that the way communication has evolved in the past few centuries cannot be compressed into a few words and numbers. The transformation of the medium of communication coming from the period of ink and handwriting towards the age wherein communication has fused with the innovations brought about by different technological discoveries. Society now has evolved into a place where there is a paradigm shift towards how accessible information is to the point where anything can be discovered, researched, or investigated upon with a push of a few buttons.

The term “communication” has truly changed through time, and is very closely linked with technology. With the help that social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter, a brand new culture has been created in virtual space, and it is definitely sweeping the globe with one account user at a time. Modern communication has not only developed technologically, but has also driven society with a huge impact. We now live in a much more fast-paced world, making society extremely competitive as well as impatient and technology-dependent. The portability of today’s gadgets, combines with the effortless accessibility of the internet has brought about the drastic change in the behavior of society. Face to face interaction is slowly becoming unnecessary in effective communication due to the various modifications that have been made in its forms and ethics, although the main essence of communication is still present. Truly, communication has been revolutionized  over the years and at the rate society and technological discoveries are going, there is definitely more to come.

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References:

Communication. (n.d.). Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved December 8, 2013, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/communication

Cawdell, D. (2012). Communication in a modern world. Retrieved from http://www.in-deed.com/Communication_in_a_Modern_World

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2 thoughts on “Current Trends and Social Implications of Modern Communication

  1. May be better to divide into shorter and more cohesive sections.

    Shorter delivery and quick response versus cohesive thought- interesting point. Is social networking structurally adverse to cohesive thought?

  2. You mention that in social networks, there is no guarantee that the receiver of private info will keep it to himself. Is this unique to social media?

    -RAM

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