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Advantages and disadvantages of communications technology

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Communication Technology is term that describes any communication device or application encompassing any of the following: mobile phones, TV, radio, computer and network hardware and software, satellite systems, as well as videoconferencing and distance learning. Communication Technology is more prevalent in our lives than ever before in both personal and business situations. It is estimated that if Facebook was a country, it would have more citizens than People’s Republic of China. It has to be noted that in today’s world, people rely more heavily on email or fax than more traditional channels such as regular post. Companies use teleconferencing and email extensively in order to communicate both: quickly and efficiently in order to sustain their competitive advantage. It goes without saying that communication technology has numerous advantages; however, it does not come without its costs. Advantages:

Time: Employing communication technologies saves time for both: individuals and businesses. In business world time equals money; therefore it is essential for any company to have a reliable and efficient communication channel. Email ticks all the boxes as it is quick, effective as well as cost efficient. Equally, it is widely used by millions of people worldwide in their social environment Access: Communications technology brings unlimited possibilities in terms of access to quality education, cost effective shopping as well as anytime banking.

It is especially important to those who would normally be excluded from traditional forms of those activities such as the disabled (e-learning), businesspeople with hectic schedules (online shopping and teleconferencing) or individuals working long hours (anytime banking, social media such as Twitter or Facebook) Costs: Employing communications technology can significantly reduce cost to individuals and businesses. Sending an email costs no more than a monthly broadband subscription whereas postal costs can be quite excessive. Similarly, shopping online is likely to be cheaper than going to traditional high street shops. Moreover, most e-colleges offer cheaper tuition fees and increased flexibility compared to traditional universities.

Disadvantages:
Information security: We all know that computers and smartphones are prone to viruses and hacker attacks. Using communication technologies can compromise our personal and sensitive data such as credit card or bank details or companies’ intellectual properties and confidential information. Everyone can increase their online safety by investing in quality antivirus software and a good firewall. Social isolation: Increased online presence means that traditional forms of contacts such as personal visits are greatly reduced in numbers. Psychologists have already warned that lack of social interaction among children can adversely affect their social and intellectual development. It can also lead to diminished interpersonal skills among adults. Malfunction: Like any modern technology, computers, servers or networks do stop to work from time to time. Equipment malfunctions can be especially costly to businesses. If airline’s website crashes for a day, it can potentially lead to millions worth of lost revenue.

To conclude, communications technologies are both useful and important in our day to day lives at present. As discussed, they have the potential to make our lives easier and more convenient. There are; however, certain risks associated with this modern technology and those include data safety and social isolation. I believe that it is important to find the right balance between communications technology and traditional communication channels to ensure that we can both: benefit from the advantages and limit the risks.

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