The Implications of New Definitions/Forms of Communication in Modern Life
The contemporary world is changing at a rapid rate because of increased technological advancements and globalization that has made it easy for people to interact with others across the globe. Technological advancements and globalization have changed peopleâ€™s lifestyles and had tremendous impacts on the society. One of the areas that have been transformed by these factors is communication, which now has new definitions and new forms. Through technological advancements and globalization, it has become easier for people to enhance their interactions and communicate even with those in the remote parts of the world. The improved interactions have in turn helped in transforming contemporary life through enhanced connectivity. However, there are some implications of new definitions and/or forms of communication in the contemporary life. This paper examines these implications in terms of how technological advancements and globalization have contributed to new definitions/forms of communication.
New Definitions/Forms of Communication in Contemporary Life
Communication is basically defined as the process/act of transmitting information from one person or group to another. This process is carried out through the use of mutually understood words, semiotic rules, and signs to help in conveying the intended meanings. Johnston (n.d.) states that communication in the contemporary life has not only taken new forms, but also characterized by new definition/meaning. In this regard, the definitions of communication in the modern world have been expanded to incorporate changes in todayâ€™s lifestyles and society. The emergence of new forms/definitions of communication in contemporary life is largely attributable to technological revolution and the advent of globalization. Due to technological revolution in the contemporary life, todayâ€™s communication is significantly dependent on technology.
Given the impact of technological revolution and globalization, communication in contemporary life is classified into two i.e. human communication and mediated communication, which provides the premise for two different definitions of communication. Human communication refers to direct verbal and non-verbal communication that has been utilized throughout the history of mankind for human interactions (de Mooij, 2013). The non-verbal components of human communication include facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice. On the contrary, mediated communication is communication that entails the use of another medium or form to convey information. In the contemporary life, mediated communication basically entails the use of electronic devices and platforms to convey information between people and/or groups.
In an interview, James Albert, a university lecturer, stated that technological tools are increasingly utilized as communication tools in the learning environment (J. Albert, personal communication, October 27, 2017). Students are increasingly preferring to utilize electronic devices and online platforms for increased interactions with teachers and their colleagues, which demonstrates that technology is the new form of mediated interpersonal communication. Unlike in the past, the definition of mediated interpersonal communication has been expanded to include technology-mediated communication because of recent technological advancements. Some of the most common forms of technology-mediated communication in contemporary life include e-mail, instant messaging, social networking, and video conferencing (Johnston, n.d.).
Implications of these Definitions/Forms on Contemporary Life
The emergence of new definitions and/or forms of communication because of rapid technological advancements and globalization have had significant implications in contemporary life. Some of the major implications of these new definitions/forms of communication in contemporary life includeâ€¦
One of the major implications of the new definitions/forms of communication in contemporary life is enhanced interaction and connectivity between people across the globe. In this regard, technological revolution and globalization has provided the platform for the development of new media and communication tools. The new media and communication tools have in turn enhanced interaction and connectivity between people across the globe including remote parts of the world.
An example of a new form of communication that has changed contemporary life is the Internet, which has experienced tremendous growth in terms of number of users in recent years. The Internet has made it easier for people to communicate and interact with each other through providing different ways for self expression. It has allowed people to utilize different ways of self-expression including video conferencing, blogging, websites, and pictures. While Internet usage is also associated with some negative impacts on communication and contemporary life, it has generally enhanced how people communicate.
One of the most commonly used aspect of the Internet for communication is social media, which has enabled people to communicate with huge audiences on a global scale, which used to be viable only on a local level (Ebay, 2015). Social networking sites and platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have become common in todayâ€™s society since they are increasingly utilized as platforms for enhanced interactions and connectivity between people on a global scale. In essence, social media/social networking sites has made it easier for people to communicate on a global scale, which in turn enhanced connectivity between people.
The enhanced interactions and connectivity in contemporary life brought by new forms of communication are attributable to the fact that these forms eliminate conventional barriers of communication, particularly distance. Unlike in the past, contemporary communication is not significantly limited by distance since new forms of communication have made it easy for people to communicate regardless of their locations across the globe. Margaret Fischer, a communications expert, stated that one of the major impacts of new forms of communication is removing the challenge of distance (M. Fischer, personal communication, October 27, 2017). In this case, communication is no longer dependent on face-to-face meetings, but can happen among people in different locations and instantaneously.
Changes in Relationships
The second implication of new definitions/forms of communication in contemporary life is changes in the mode of relationships. In this case, new forms of communication have transformed how people relate with one another. The increased usage of technology-mediated communication has played a major role in the emergence and proliferation of online relationships. Through these forms of communication, people in the modern society are able to develop relationships with others regardless of whether or not they have ever met in real-life. According to a publication by the Huffington Post, technology-mediated communication has put relationships in beta, redefined how people express themselves and their desires, and changed how people trust one another (Men, Women & Children, 2014). This form of communication has enabled people to meet their lifetime partners and/or explore new ways of developing relationships with others.
However, the presence of technology-mediated communication has also had negative impacts on relationships. Recent studies have demonstrated that increased dependence on technology-mediated communication tools and channels have affected the development of interpersonal relation skills among people (Men, Women & Children, 2014). Margaret Fisher stated that people who rely on technology-mediated communication platforms like social networking sites tend to have poor interpersonal relation skills and difficulties in face-to-face interactions (M. Fischer, personal communication, October 27, 2017). The poor interpersonal relation skills among these people in turn damage their relationships with those close to them, particularly family members.
Changes in the Social Fabric
The other implication of new definitions/forms of communication in contemporary life is changes in social fabric. New forms of communication like smartphones, tablets and social networking sites were developed to better connect people (Robbins, 2017). Even those these communication forms have enhanced connectivity between people across the world, they have also changed the social fabric and damaged social co-existence. Robbins (2017) states that these new forms of communication have made people to have less physical and emotional contact with one another. The changes in the social fabric are attributable to the fact that new forms of communication have resulted in dependence on technological devices, increased loneliness, and reduced physical and emotional contact.
In conclusion, modern communication has experienced significant transformation because of the increased technological revolution and globalization. This has in turn contributed to the emergence of new definitions/forms of communication that have implications on contemporary life. Due to technological revolution and globalization, the new definitions/forms of communication have been expanded to include technology-mediated communication. The major implications of the new definitions/forms of communication in modern life include better connection between people, changes in the social fabric, and changes in mode of relationships.
De Mooij, M. (2013). Human and mediated communication around the world: a comprehensive review and analysis. Netherlands, Springer.
Ebay. (2015, March 29). The Way the Internet has Changed the Way We Communicate. Retrieved October 27, 2017, from http://mashable.com/2015/03/28/internet-communication-brandspeak/#ui6TBaMKjsqB
Johnston, K. (n.d.). Examples of Different Forms of Technology-Mediated Communication. Retrieved October 27, 2017, from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/examples-different-forms-technologymediated-communication-34313.html
Men, Women & Children. (2014, October 17). This Is How Technology Is Affecting Your Relationship. The Huffington Post. Retrieved October 27, 2017, from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/17/technology-changing-relationships_n_5884042.html
Robbins, G. (2017, April 21). Are Smartphones and Social Media the Antidote to Loneliness? The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved October 27, 2017, from http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/cyber-life/sd-me-connected-dilipjeste-20170421-story.html
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