The generation of today has new ways of communication that were considered impossible to achieve in the past. The use of the electronic mail, short message system or text messaging, chat room sessions, social networking such as ‘My Space’, ‘Facebook’ and others are the new forms of communication of the present generation. This new way of communicating is present both in the personal or professional lives of an individual. The home and the workplace of today, has also adapted these changes of communication and has applied them in their everyday lives.
In the past the computer was used as a tool to perform tasks that were solely related to typing and printing or for mere storage of information. Today, the computer can do a million things with just the click of a mouse. Aside from the fact that the computer can still be used to perform everyday jobs such as typing, encoding and other menial work, it is now a main instrument used to communicate. With the use of a computer, the snail mail took a backseat in communication. The old generation used to rely on the use of snail mail in sending documents, love letters, birthday cards and others. At present, the computer can now perform these things in an instant and without even having to leave a person’s home. The computer can just scan the birthday card and send it through electronic mail and the recipient would receive the birthday greeting in an instant. The computer, with the use of the internet makes it possible to talk to a person and see him through the webcam at real time. Before, when a member of a family or a loved one is miles away, the only way to keep in touch with him is through the use of a telephone but the parties cannot see each other. The development of technology made it possible for two persons who are miles apart to see each other through the internet with the use of a webcam. Also, this kind of communication is possible through the use of 3G communications through the cellular phone. By this mode of communication, a person would not feel that his or her loved one or family member is in a distant place. This form of communication is also considered useful in the workplace. For instance, when a board member is attending a function abroad and could not attend the board meeting, they can use web conferencing to discuss an important matter. The use of text messaging allows a person to send a message and reply at once allowing the parties to send and receive important information at once. During the late 1980’s to the early 1990’s the beeper was the most in demand form of communication which allows a person to receive information. But, it was a limited form of communication because the recipient of the message cannot reply at once since he would have to look for a telephone to call or send a message to the other. This problem was eliminated with the use of text messaging which has gained so much popularity worldwide. The use of the fax machine is also a form of communication that is used in the office to send important letters or documents. In this way, the document can be sent in less than a few minutes instead of having to go to the post office to send a document which would be received after a few days. The emergence of social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook and Twitter has defined the meaning of communication in a different way. These sites allows a person to chat, send messages, inform his friends or colleagues of what he is doing at the moment, and upload pictures. These sites allow a person to communicate with a long lost friend, an old classmate, a neighbor with whom he lost in touch with or to rekindle a relationship.
The new forms of communication made it easy for the people of today to send vital information instantaneously. This has brought so much advantage both in the personal and professional relationships of a person.
– HCI White Paper. “Innovative Next Generation Communications Technologies to Effectively Communicate with a Multi-Generational Workforce”. Fall of 2008. <http://www.enwisen.com/pdf/Enwisen_Innovative_Next_Generation_Communications.pdf>