Most people can’t imagine a world of communication without technology.
The amount of time and energy put into sending the simplest messages before communication technology is more than can be described in 140 characters or less.
Things are a bit different now. The incorporation of technology into different types of communication has made it easier than ever to share information. Even though there are an overwhelming amount of gadgets, software, and tools associated with communication technology, it is not uncommon for the modern day communicator to be an expert at them all.
But if you’re not an expert, don’t fret! This guide to communication technology will lay out the basics that you need to know to be a successful communicator in the age of technology.
What is communication technology?
It sounds pretty straightforward, but let’s define it so we are all on the same page.
Communication technology definition
Communication technology refers to all the tools used to send, receive, and process information. In today’s fast climate, efficiency and convenience are the keys to successful communication technology.
Each communication technology device has impacted the way information is circulated, and they continue to improve the communication experience.
Types of communication technology
Technology has reinvented the way people communicate. Originally simple devices have evolved into communication channels that create connections worldwide. There are four main types of communication technology that have contributed to the ease of sending messages: telephone, radio, television, and internet.
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The telephone revolutionized verbal communication. People can talk to each other from any place in the world, strengthening relationships and eliminating the worries of long-distance communication. Speaking with someone across the country can be done just as easily as speaking with someone down the street.
As technology advanced, the device upgraded from “telephone” to “mobile phone.” What used to be a heavy piece of equipment can now easily fit in your pocket. Not only is the modern telephone portable, but the features and capabilities are also advanced.
As the telephone progressed, it adopted new types of visual and written communication. Today, text messages and electronic versions of photos are regularly sent using mobile phones, increasing the possible amount of information being shared using phones.
The telephone introduced a brand new approach to verbal, written, and visual communication, and exciting new features continue to change the communication technology game.
About twenty years after the telephone, communicating using the radio came into play. Another innovation in the realm of verbal communication, radio is used to reach sizable audiences, as opposed to just one person on the other end of a phone.
The radio’s ability to reach a large audience at a low cost continues to motivate a lot of communicators to take full advantage of the tool. Information providers, such as advertisers and newscasters, spend substantial amounts of time communicating with their massive audiences using radio technology.
Radio technology transformed the way information is delivered to large audiences and continues to strengthen mass communication.
Television is another way to reach extensive audiences, but it brought a new perk to the table: visual communication.
Some information is hard to describe using just words. Television provides audiences with the best of both worlds: information and visuals to accompany it. This advantage caused the television to replace the radio as the leading tool for mass communication.
Today, there are thousands of television channels that communicate information on almost any topic: history, sports, news, science, fiction, and so on. Whether it be for entertainment or cold hard facts, people are constantly turning to television for information.
The internet removes the need for communicators to have a separate device for each different type of communication technology. With the Internet, you can do it all in one place.
As the queen bee of interaction, the internet successfully combines all types of communication technology and houses them in one place. It provides the largest array of information and communication sources known to man.
The tools available on the internet make any type of communication effortless. Verbal and nonverbal communication can be accomplished with video conferencing software. Written messages can be sent through email. Electronic versions of pictures can be sent to and from any internet device.
Customer communication software is another example of one of these tools. While other gadgets help make communication between a business and their consumers easy, certain tools can often be considered hybrid – bringing together different types of communication.
Live chat is a rare hybrid tool that combines all types of communication – verbal, nonverbal, written, and rich media – through audio and video conferencing software, instant messaging, and file sharing capabilities.
Customers can place orders, ask questions, or troubleshoot issues through live chat, all on a single customer communication platform. This gives them access to a business and allows them to connect with an agent whenever they have a query. With live chat software, it’s never been easier to connect.
Communication technology has made connections among people stronger than ever. But in order for those networks to run smoothly, the collection of interactive devices being used also need to be connected. This is known as information and communication technology.
Information and communication technology
Information and communication technology refers to a connected system of interactive tools and technologies that are used to send and receive information. Whether it be an individual or an entire company, if a single entity is using multiple types of technology to communicate, they must be linked to ensure efficiency.
Image courtesy of TechTarget
These systems of interactive tools can include state-of-the-art innovations, such as artificial intelligence, and less advanced technology, like the corded telephone. The ability and newness of the device aren’t important. If multiple technology tools are being used by an individual or business, they should be connected.
Information and communication technology have changed the way people go about their days living, working, and communicating. These innovations have taken over certain duties that people never would have imagined a machine to do, such as answering phones and giving human-like responses or speaking into a device and having it write a message for you.
Information and communication technology allows people to effectively communicate in the technological world.
Information and communication technology is an expansive topic, and the ideas within it continue to evolve. You don’t have to be an expert, but understanding the basics and keeping up with new communication technology will help make you the best communicator possible.
Want more on communication’s evolution to see how far we have come? Give our resource on the history of communication a read.
Mary Clare Novak is a Content Marketing Specialist at G2 in Chicago, where she is currently exploring topics related to sales and customer relationship management. In her free time, you can find her doing a crossword puzzle, listening to cover bands, or eating fish tacos. (she/her/hers)