Over the recent years, there has been an advance in technology that has greatly changed the way people interact socially and the way they work. Technological advancement in the communication sector especially has given rise to faster and improved modes of communication.
One such mode of communication is the internet or world wide web (www). The Internet is a mode of communication that interconnects different independent networks to turn the world into one big village.
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This has been made possible through the invention of a new type of computers that have improved speed, high data storage capacity and are small in size as compared to the older generation computers. They are also user friendly (Daniel J. Myers (2000).
The Internet operates through communication software that enable the users to get access to the Internet. These are programs such as Mozillafirefox, Miocrosoft |Internet Explorer, Netscapes Navigator to name but a few. We also have programs that enable the user to access information about any subject that he/she wishes to explore.
Such programs are known as search engines and good examples are www.Google.com and www.yahoo.com. Such programs provide email and internet services. To add the list are Instant Messaging or chatting, blogging, Social Networking Sites and computer games among others.
Telephone lines are used to interconnect different computers to enableflow of data or information. Through the internet, communication has become faster and more reliable and a short text message (sms) is as reliable as a telephone call (Blaise W. Liffick, Ph.D.)
Telecommunication sector has also benefited from the introduction of a convenient and fast mode of communication, the mobile phone. As the name suggests, this phone is portable and it ensures one of communication wherever you go as long as the area is covered by a network.
Advanced technology has interconnected the computer, mobile phone and radio communication in such a way that a user is able to listen to the radio online or through their mobile phone.
The people who have embraced this kind of change in technology are the youth and this has greatly affected the way the that they interact within society. Improved computer literacy has favored the young people in that majority of them are computer literate and can understand the computer language.
The youth for example are the dominant group that will be found at social networking sites. To understand better how advanced technology has affected the life of the young adult generation, we need to explore a bit into the different methods of communication.
The mobile phone is the most easily accessible gadget used in modern day communication. Millions of people worldwide especially the young adults have embraced this mode of communication and majority own mobile phones.
A mobile phone has great advantage over a fixed telephone or computer in that it is portable and helps the user take communication wherever he or she goes. Communication has become faster and cheaper through calls or short text messages and people are now closely knit together through this network.
Improvements to this service have given rise to radio and email communication through the mobile phone and one can now access the internet of listen to radio through the phone. Mobile phone communication means that information goes with you wherever you are.
Through the mobile phone, it has become very easy to keep contact with colleagues such as former schoolmates, parents, friends etc.Everything has its own disadvantages and the mobile phone is no exception. Wrong information can easily be relayed through this mode of communication and lawbreakers have taken advantage of this.
Unruly youths have been able to organize criminal activities in a faster and more organized manner making it difficult for the law to get them. The mobile phone has been a source of breakups in relationships as people disagree on phone. Young adults are most prone to this kind of problem.
The internet also known as the web or cyberspace has turned the world into one village by interconnecting and the world can now meet together on the internet.
Anyone who can be able to access the internet has access to almost everything they need. Where young people previously referred to libraries and archives for information, they can now collect materials from the internet.
The internet works through a collection of web addresses or www which enable the user to access the internet . This is done through internet service providers who make these web pages accessible to the users. Various computer programs enable the user to carry out different functions over the internet such as chatting, teleconferencing, blogging and email.
The internet has become a source of employment for millions of young people around the world as they are the people working in the fields of networking, programming etc This means that a new social group that was not there before is now in existent and in operation. These groups have their own way of interacting and co-existing in their working and also social emvironment.
E-mail is a mode of communication on the internet that links together subscribers who have registered on the internet. It allows a subscriber to receive, read, compose and reply mail online. This mode of communication is very popular with the young people as it is a more modern method of letter writing.
It beats normal postage in that the reciepent gets the information immediately. It is cheaper that a telephone call and carrys more information than a text message. The young adults have taken advantage of its convenience to update each other on different issues, to apply for schools and jobs etc.
The email makes the distance covered by normal mail shorter, is faster and more reliable. We also have webmail the difference being that with an email you have to work online but with a webmail you work offline and get connected when sending the information.
The email service is now available through the mobile phone and this has made it even cheaper and more convenient as one does not have to visit a cyber room to send or receive an email (Joan Tunstall, J. (1999).
Chatting refers to a mode of communication over the internet in which two or more people in different localities can hold a conversation or discussion online by typing information on the computer.
This is a style very popular with the youth as it is same as if people were talking face to face the only difference being that you cannot hear or see each other.
Chat rooms created on the web have become meeting places fro many young people and they have also been able to make new friends through this channel. This has given rise to new kind of social group that communicates through chat rooms (Daniel J. Myers (2000).
Blogging is another type of internet communication that is popular with the young people. This form of online publishing enables the user to add new information onto an already existing topic.
Blogging is very convenient in that a new user can use an already existing blog to add new contributions to a certain topic. Blogging is very popular with people who wish to market their products as they have a fast means of letting fellow bloggers what’s on the market.
The internet provides such programs as Windows Media Player that enables the user to play digital music through the computer e.g CDs, DVDs and also listen to FM stations. Young people are fun lovers and they are now able to watch movies, listen to music and radio through the internet.
This can be done form the comfort of you living room or even in the office when relaxing. This has affected the mode of interaction amongst the youth in that they now no longer have to visit movie houses to watch movies but can borrow from the library .
Download software programs also enable the young people to play various types of games which would otherwise have been un affordable in the real situation.
Young adults are also able to share ideas through Social Networking Sites (SNSs). Social Network Sites are internet based services that enable people to created their own personal profiles. Examples are Mysapce and Facebook.
These profiles can be shared with other persons within a closed environment. Users will be able to interact within the same user group although these sites can also be viewed by non-users. Users are able to upload such items as photos, videos etc.
This mode of communication is used to enhance interaction between relationships that were already existing offline. Users of this service are introduced by others already in the service and thus the reason why young people are attracted to SNSs; because their friends are already on these sites.
This work to create closed user groups. Social Network Sites grow in popularity among people of a certain country, race, sex or even community. SNSs like CyWorld and Orkut for example are very popular in countries such as Korea, India and Brazil. An SNS will therefore enable a certain community or group to post and share comments as well as enhance friendships.
The users are able to express themselves while at the same time interacting with others within an SNS community. This mode of communication makes interaction easier and faster by reducing distance between the users (Ramy H.N., Moppett S. A (2000).
Teleconfrencing is yet another mode if internet communication that has changed the way young adults interact. This refers to holding of meetings through the internet between groups at different geographical locations. Unlike in chatting, the parties involved are able to see and hear each other.
Social forums involving young people as well as academic exchange programs are carried out through teleconferencing. This means that ideas are exchanged and solutions to various found while avoiding traveling costs.
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