Rochelle News-Leader | Use communication technology wisely

Communication technology is one of four types of technology that has a profound impact on our lives, shaping how we interact with our world and with others near and far. To improve our lives, we need to learn and understand communication technology so that instead of being controlled by it, we can have some control over it and make the right choices in balancing its positive and negative attributes.

In general, communication can be classified into four types: human-to-human, human-to-machine, machine-to-human, and machine-to-machine. So one of the first things you need to know when using communication technology is what you’re communicating with a person or a machine.

Sometimes we are very specific when we interact with machines. Programming a microwave oven is a great example of this. It’s easy if you know what you’re doing, and a microwave oven can be a great kitchen machine for cooking. If you don’t know how to interact with your microwave, it can be a confusing nightmare. Microwaves are machines and often very logical – this makes them predictable and reliable over and over again. But if you don’t know their “logic”, it can make interacting with machines very frustrating. Now that machines are becoming more human, machine interaction skills may change and logic may no longer be a prerequisite. For example, many machines understand voice commands, so no matter how logically we think we’re talking to a machine, it may not know what we’re saying. Just like being patient and knowledgeable when communicating with humans, it is valuable to be patient and know the language of the machine you need to communicate with. Another benefit is knowing that machines can “hear” what you’re saying even when you’re not speaking directly to them. Many times I’ve noticed that my phone listens to me and then suggests a question or topic I’ve discussed.

Most of the time when it comes to technology, we’re interacting with a machine, even if it feels like we’re interacting with another person. This fact may be subtle or very obvious, but it is important to understand. For example, when we talk to someone on the phone, we first communicate with the machine (phone), which in turn communicates with other machines (cell towers, switches, and finally the other person’s phone), and finally communicates with him. the other person. It’s usually not noticeable, but it can be very noticeable when your calls drop out, have annoying echoes, or have other tech issues. When you realize that you can talk to someone far away as if you were sitting in the same room, talking on the phone can be a wonderful and positive thing. But when these machines break down or something unexpected happens, a phone call can be unreliable and frustrating. A phone call can be a mistake, especially in an emergency.

A handwritten or typed letter mailed to another person is handled and handled by machines (such as a news sorting machine) and other people (such as a letter carrier), but does not cause problems such as echoes, drops, or fouling. scope. Handwritten words can convey more emotion than spoken words. Listening to someone else’s voice over the phone sounds direct and immediate, while written words have a delayed quality that can enhance the message.

Using a similar argument, when we see a person on television, we do not see a person at all, but a machine that represents a person. Along the communication channel, many machines (cables, satellites, satellite dishes, antennas, etc.) connect the two people involved, which can create an almost magical image. I remember watching the first moon landing and the moonwalk in my elementary school gym. At the moment, we may be drawn to live sports broadcasts of people playing games all over the world. In some ways it’s like the person is right in the same room, but in others it’s so far away. We have the power to simply “turn off” a person on TV, but not another person in the same room. Thus, the positive aspects of television represent the comfort of being with another person, but are otherwise very passive.

Internet communication technology brings new and more sophisticated means of sending and receiving messages, especially as Internet devices become more and more common in our lives. Email and texting are perfect examples of interpersonal communication, and a simple mistake like “reply all” can be at the very least embarrassing, or one of the biggest mistakes you’ll ever make. Leaving a gift anonymously on someone’s front door can be a live video feed of the homeowner monitoring their front door while they’re out at work or on vacation, with a surveillance camera. Ding, dong, channel may be a thing of the past! In this case, there are machines that communicate with other machines to constantly monitor what is happening. Add facial recognition so you can be recognized the moment you walk into a store or step onto someone’s front lawn.

The same analysis can be applied to any communication technology we choose – each has its pros and cons. When we choose to use technology to communicate with other people, it’s important to remember that control over the delivery of our messages and satisfaction is always important.

Kurt Wolter studied and taught technology — including manufacturing, transportation, energy, and communications – More than 30 years. While trying to better understand technology, its past, present, and future, he likes to try his hand at journalism. He can be contacted [email protected]

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