The modern world has seen many changes in different fields due to the introduction of technology. Communication is one of the aspects of life that has changed a lot in the past few years. The modes of communication that were used fifty years ago are no longer adopted by the masses in modern times. The differences between the modern communication modes and the earlier modes can be discussed by using the following criteria: verbal communication, written communication, and non-verbal communication.
The importance of direct verbal communication is decreasing with the passage of time with the introduction of new technologies in the market. Verbal communication is termed as the exchange of words on an oral level; it is said to be the most frank mode of communication. Personal interviews, telephone calls, seminars, meetings, and conferences are included in verbal communication modes. Fifty years ago, verbal communication was done by means of face to face interaction between individuals since the modern technology of phones was not very common. Mobile phones were not invented at that time due to which face to face interaction was preferred to get messages across to the other individuals. Today, however, conventional face to face communication has been replaced with mobile phone communication and the exchange of messages by means of the internet. Shim (2007) stated that the usual usage of mobile phones and the internet for communication is having a negative effect on people (especially teenagers); the importance of spending time with family members is decreasing whereas it was considered very importance in the past.
Written communication modes have also changed in recent history. The transfer of messages on paper has been replaced with a paper-less transfer of messages i.e. through the internet and mobile technologies. A few examples of written communication include regulations, publications, reports, circulars, memos, greeting cards, and letters. Government agencies still prefer written communication in some parts of the world since not all countries have adopted e-government practices. The postal mail has been a common mode of written communication but it is not preferred much in modern times since it takes longer to reach the destination. Another reason for not choosing postal mail is that its receiving is not guaranteed as much as the modern modes of written communication. Due to the unreliability and slowness of the postal mail, newer modes of written communication are being used, for example, email, SMS, text messages, messages on social networking sites, etc. These newer modes of communication offer reliability and fast delivery. However, fast speed and reliability come at a cost of decreased quality of written communication. The degree of emotions and thoughts that were put in traditional modes of written communication have decreased; for example, personal letters and greeting cards were very important and valuable in the past but they are not exchanged between individuals very much in the present times. The concept of greeting and wishing each other is also usually done by means of the newer modes of written communication.
Another important mode of communication is the one that sends messages and signals by an individual’s body language and gestures. Few examples of such mode of communication are facial expressions, sitting positions, movement of the eyes and hands. Gestures and body language was transmitted by means of face to face interaction in the past. This type of face to face communication has been replaced with webcam chats that enable the participants to view each other with the help of a webcam. The quality of the picture during the webcam chat depends on the speed of the internet connection; if the connection is good then the picture of the individual will be transmitted clearly. In case the picture is not transmitted in good quality, the viewer will not be able to understand the body language and gestures of the other participant. However, even if the quality of the webcam chat is good, the small window of the webcam chat is not able to transfer all the gestures.
After conducting a thorough analysis of the communication modes of the present and the past, it can be stated that communication has changed drastically in recent history. The newer modes of communication have increased the speed and reliability of receiving messages. However, the communication modes of the past were more personal and interactive in nature. It is predicted that the future will bring even faster and more reliable modes of communication that shall enable individuals to send greater amount of information in even lesser durations.
Shim, Young. “The Impact of the Internet on Teenagers’ Face-to-Face Communication”, Global Media Journal, 2007, Vol. 6, Issue 10.