Technology Based Communication Tools

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Current technology has created many new ways of communicating. Where people were once restricted to writing letters, using landline phones and speaking in person, there are now a variety of other methods of communication that use technology to increase their speed, range and accuracy.

Phones

  • Phones are an interesting manner of communication that uses technology because they are not as "new" as the other forms. Telephones have been around for more than 100 years; however, it is only in the last 10 years or so that they have become portable.

    Cell phones have changed the way people communicate by giving them the ability to make phone calls when they are on the move. A phone and its number are now attached to a person, where previously they were associated with a household. This means that phone calls are now much more commonplace, and they take place in all kinds of venues, not just in the home.

SMS

  • Cell phones have also created a new form of communication -- the text message. This is often cheaper and easier than calling someone, and it is a form of communication that has risen with cell phone use. Texting (or SMS) is a communication tool that has shortened communications between people and delivered information far more efficiently than a phone conversation can.

    Text messaging has also changed the way people communicate. Since text messages are limited in their length, users often shorten words and phrases to meet the character limit.

Internet

  • The Internet is an enormous communication tool that affects both of the other two mentioned above, in addition to providing its own sources of communication. The Internet provides the ability for peoples' computers to interface with one another via phone lines.

    The Internet's applications are wide-ranging, from email, which allows people to send messages instantly rather than wait a day or so like they would with standard mail, to instant messaging, which is a form of email that takes a faster, more conversational route.

    There are also websites themselves, which, broadly defined, are simply pieces of information that companies put on the Internet for people to browse. They range from static, information-giving websites to dynamic new media websites.

New Media

  • New media is a broad-based term that describes social media websites. They differ from older websites because they encourage participation from and interaction with the viewer; rather than have the company that runs the website put content up for users to passively take in, new media encourages users to put content up themselves.

    This means that companies can engage with their customers more effectively by giving them a voice. By allowing them to interact with one another through the company and with the company itself, customers have more of a stake in the website, and more reason to visit it because it is distinctly theirs, not simply something that could be of interest to them.

Fax

  • Fax machines are a combination of a photocopier and a phone. Users scan documents, which are then encoded and relayed through phone lines to another fax machine. This makes it possible to quickly send documents that are not available in digital form. An excellent example is employee time sheets -- since the hours and signatures are generally written, not typed, a fax machine is necessary to quickly deliver them.

    Faxing is also substantially cheaper than sending things through standard mail, as it's the price of a phone call rather than the price of physically moving a document.

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