How People Communicate

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Since time immemorial, communication has become an ever-present part of the human race. However, the methods used to communicate have evolved over time. This is due to the fact that technology is still evolving and that different generations exist in different eras. Indigenous communication systems were slower and could only transmit messages over short distances. As population and diversity grew over time, it became necessary to develop improved and faster modes of communication capable of covering long distances in less time. During the earlier days, communication was achieved through smoke signals, pigeon posts, and snail mail (balloons, donkeys, dogsleds, etc.). Letter writing replaced the smoke signals due to shorter distances of the smoke. The letters were the main forms of communication between friends and family members who were located far. This went on for a while up to the 19th century when Samuel Morse invented the telegraph. It was not until 1836 (imagcwp) when the telegraph was used to relay messages over long distances, i.e., across the Atlantic Ocean. The telegraph, being the first electric means of communication changed the world because countries could now be connected to one another. By late 1870’s, the US had a telecommunication network that ran globally, easing the way communication was done.

Communication Now

After a pioneering electric means of communication set by the telegraph, many forms of communications sprung up. This is because the telegraph had set the principles of communication. The forms of communication used today were first made possible by the telegraph’s existence. These include radio, telephone, mobile phones, televisions and the internet. The telegraph was followed by the telephone, a mode of communication in which transmission of speech occurred electronically (Zhang). The main setback with the telephone was that its cables could not be used underwater because of signal interference. This was later conquered when AT&T, a US company managed to design cables that could be used to transmit voice signals under water.

Advancement in technology resulted to development of the telephone systems that even homes started using them for communication. This evolved to cable television and also cell phones. In the telephone system, cables are used to connect houses to poles running long cables which then interconnect forming a network of cables which then connect to the companies providing the services. Antennas are used as methods of signal amplification, this is because signals grow weaker with the increase in the distance with which they travel (imagcwp). The antennas later evolved into digital boxes. These are used for the cable television.

The mobile phone stepped in, and has evolved immensely since then (1983) (Zhang). Their functionality and design have been developing since the first mobile phone was used. A lot of things can be done on a cell phone in the current day, then what was accomplished on the first phone. These include emails. Messaging, video, and pictures. Smartphones then came in and changed the whole idea of mobile phones. They are now faster, efficient in operation and their cost is also affordable. Communication can now be effectively achieved through tablets and personal computers.

The internet cannot be ignored when addressing communication. High-speed internet facilitated by the use of fiber optics has led to the affordable internet, than anyone, anywhere can access internet comfortably (imagcwp). Wireless internet can now be achieved, and with the present devices such as the smartphone, tablets, and personal computers, communication has never been easier.


Communication in the present day cannot be compared to the experience in the past, even just two decades back. Regarding cost, efficiency and reliability, today’s communication are on a higher notch, enhancing fast transmission of information anywhere in the world. This was made possible by the invention of the telegraph, which can be described in simple terms as the pioneer of communication. Sending a love letter today is as fast as a snap of a finger.

Works Cited

imagcwp. Communication Technology from the Past, the Present, and the Future! – HollyCurtis Paper1-3. 1 May 2012. Web Page. 1 November 2017.

Zhang, Kailun. "Then & now: communication through the ages." The Queen's Journal (2015). Web Page.

January 18, 2023


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