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How communication technology will shape our lives

September 18, 2022 Taslima Akter Shikha, MEL & Reporting Lead, CPJ, BRAC University

‘Communication’. Sounds like we all know it, right? We talk, we write, we exchange information, we share views, we negotiate. Is this all about communication?

In the ancient period people used to communicate with signs, sounds, symbols, songs, art, dance and cave drawings. Cave drawings were murals that people painted onto the walls of caves and canyons to tell the story of their culture.  They would tell stories of battles, hunts, culture etc. But, the passage of time and the upgrading of life have been shaping the strategies and the ways of communication.

Recently Covid-19 has triggered an unprecedented and salient feature of communication technologies and given a remarkable shape of its strategies that have been taken as an adaptation of new technologies as a medium of communication.

The world as we know is entirely driven by communication. In today’s communication, we mainly use two forms one is simply audio which is a phone call/ conferencing communication and the other is video calling/ conferencing but in Future Communication Technology Predictions have a lot more.

Experts predicted how communication technologies are supposed to change with the passage of time. It has been predicted by Ian Pearson, a futurist with an 85 per cent accuracy record, what new technologies we can expect to see by 2050 and how it will change the way we live.

It has been predicted that we’ll be communicating through a form of telepathy from thought recognition technology and may be able to communicate by sending our thoughts through a network directly into someone else’s brain in future.

In Britain a survey has been conducted among young people, and found that in the future people will use body implants and holograms to communicate with each other. The data showed that only 13 per cent of 8 to 18 year olds think young people will send letters and postcards to each other by the year 2049. Around one-third said they think holograms as well as body and brain implants will be used, while a quarter predict there’ll be a new language.

According to the poll, the most popular way of communication in the future will be the wearable technologies, including smart watches and augmented reality glasses. More than half of them said, they believe they’ll spend too much time online and won’t be able to talk enough with people face to face.

The future we are talking about in the survey is not that far from us, people around the world are advancing communication technologies as a means of new communication strategies.

A remarkable change we noticed during Covid-19 is the world mandate to abide by the social distance guidelines declared by WHO, all over the world. ‘Home office’ has been getting familiarized as a new concept of communication. Distance communication leads to inventing new tools and strategies.

New experience paves the way to get acquainted with new communication technologies like google meet, zoom application, Microsoft team, skype and as informal medium while, semi-formal medium WhatsApp, messenger, telegram etc. has been used massively as a medium of communication during worldwide lockdown and so on.

Even many people around the world have had crash courses in Zoom these past few months to learn zoom etiquette to make them best fit in. It is a salient positivity that we are pushed to be fit in modern technologies and becoming better at using it, which may be more beneficial moving forward.

If we look back at the pre Covid-19 period, people barely thought about using those mediums frequently, home office, distance learning, virtual conference, workshop and so on. Covid-19 has given a new nuance of communication strategies, the medium also has been changed recently. Though we cannot overlook the constraints virtual communication has.

As new adapters are shared, interaction from the distance is not an easy rather the hardest, especially for the novices, there are always plenty of noises, barriers in terms of encode and decode messages from senders to receivers but this distance communication has been adding more noise than earlier. Long screen time causes eye problems as well as hearing issues.

Moreover, people are tending to be more isolated individuals due to the distance communication. As humans we need to be touched, to see and feel the emotion more acutely. Still in the era of modern communication technologies, adaptation and learning new technologies is undoubtedly necessary.

Despite having some barriers and noise of virtual or distance communication, it has been accepted remarkably. Most of the obstacles are technical and people worldwide are overcoming them gradually by adapting with the modern technologies.

It is always human need and necessity that push us to invent, to discover new technologies. Covid-19 has pushed the world to adapt with modern communication technologies. Human interactions with others have been getting a new form and shape. Over the time, we have been exploring new strategies of communications, new channels, modern media and technologies around the world.

The day is not that far when machines will dominate the world and the prediction of futurism will come true. We may also expect computer brain communication technology through which transactions of thoughts in mind can be directly shared from person to person.

We see the advances happening in communication technologies and it’s becoming evident that computers, machines, robots, and algorithms are going to be able to do most of the routine, repetitive types of jobs as a way of communication. Possibly future communication technologies might be too costly and it will include both virtual and physical modes. It includes audio, video systems with robots, smell release devices, etc.

It is anticipated that the skeleton of communication may remain the same as text, speech, video, taste, feel, smell, emotions etc. Even if it’s physical communications, devices and machines will operate the entire communication system. Robots are evolving at emotions and they will be much closer to humans in near future.

Disclaimer: All views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors based on their own thoughts and do not represent the position of any affiliated organisations.

This blog was originally published in Prothom Alo (English) on Thursday, September 15, 2022