.

.

Communication

Communication

Social Networks

Social networks have been one of the most revolutionary ICT services. As computers have become an essential piece of kit in any house, everyone has naturally joined social networks after seeing friends on them.

Facebook is a prime example of this. With the new generation all using it, people can meet new friends then search them on Facebook and add them, as if it were a directory for people. All of this has been created only in the last few years, with Facebook now having more than 300 million users now using it. Students have been able to use it to create a smaller network amongst this huge global one, so that they can communicate with members of their own school or university. The same has happened in work places, where colleagues have joined smaller networks to create a quick way of communicating with each other.

Social Networking

Advantages

Social networking sites allow people to create networks of colleagues, friends or family in which they can communicate, share media with eachother, or interact with one another. Social networking enables people who share the same interests to hang out together and this simply means that you are able to make new friends. If for example you are interested in basketball, no one there will get tired of talking about the players or the game which occurred last night or several years ago. Since most social networking is done over the web, you get to meet individuals from other countries and learn about their culture. How many people do you know keep in touch with someone across the Atlantic or the Pacific? Given that you share something in common, you get to communicate with that person regularly that is very similar to hooking up with your friends after work or school.

From a business point of view, the first two advantages of social networking enable you to meet new clients and expand your business because most of these sites allow you to customize your webpage and provide links to your personal website. Just to give you a few examples, there is Multiply, MySpace, Friendster, FaceBook and Classmates. With so many around, you won't have a hard time looking for a social network that you like. You can even post ads here so you can inform other members of an event that you are hosting. The best part about becoming a member of a social network is that majority of these is free. This means that you don't have to pay any fees. All you have to do is sign up by filling up the form and then activating the link when this is sent to you via email. Now that you are a member, you can invite other friends to join and look at other profiles.

The advantages of social networking will allow you to make new friends, promote your business and best of all, won't cost you a thing. But there are some social networking sites that will require you to pay a fee. Before you sign up, consider if this value for your money. Will social networking sites ever replace meeting people in social events and other gatherings? Of course not because all this medium does is give you more exposure. It allows you to put your best qualities out there especially when first impressions last.

When you join a social networking site, never post any private information about yourself unless you are ready to have people get in touch with you. You shouldn't also put anything embarrassing about yourself because some people have been denied employment because of the information posted. If there are "privacy" settings in your social networking site, you are advised to use it so you can control who has access to your personal information.

A lot of experts say that social networking is here to stay so we have to take advantage of it. When you do join a social networking site, keep an open and see if this is exactly what you wanted. If not, cancel your account until you find the one that you like.

Disadvantages

Lack of Anonymity: You are putting out information about your name, location, age, gender, and many other types of information that you may not want to let others know. Most people would say be careful, but no one can be certain at any given time. As long as people can know who you exactly are, then some can find ways to do you in.

Scams and Harassment: There is a potential for failure of security in both personal and business context. While many sites apply certain measures to keep any of these cases of harassment, cyber-stalking, online scams, and identity theft to an absolute minimum, you still may never know.

Time Consuming: If this is not your kind of thing, that it would just be a waste of time for you. The key to social networking is that it is supposed to be fun, whether you are just doing it for kicks or clicking around for business purposes. That should be reasonable enough for anyone, but there are those people who don't see the point. For them, it can be a disadvantage.

Now there is something to really think about. Nothing is without a blemish, but those of this type of networking shouldn't really be that much of a concern regarding your safety. As long as you go along without making big mistakes, then it is all good. You can take advantage of the Internet phenomenon that continues up to this day.

Smart Phones

A mobile phone is an electronic device used for mobile telecommunications communicating via a cellular network with either voice, SMS or MMS) through base stations known as cell sites. Mobile phones differ from cordless telephones, which only offer telephone service within limited range, e.g. within a home or an office, through a fixed line and a base station owned by the subscriber and also from satellite phones and radio telephones. Mobile phones now also contain WiFi (Wireless internet) and have fully fledged web browsers along with the ability to communicate with people through internet social networking platforms such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter etc.

The first mobile phones were on the market in the 1980’s, however they were too big to carry around and some were permanently fitted into the car. As the technology progressed companies such as Nokia, Samsung and Motorola developed solutions to the problem of fixed telephones and eventually came out with what is today referred to as the “mobile phone”. Due to the high competition, mobile phone manufactures started making the devices more compact and adding additional features such as cameras, games, video recorders, radio, mp3 players, Bluetooth connectivity, Wireless Internet and 3G connectivity and video calling.

Mobile phone technology has been travelling at warp speed, with the industry now over-saturated with mobile phones capable of processing computer-level applications. Most SMART mobile phones are capable of the performing applications that you would usually associate with a desktop computer. Almost every single SMART phone produced since 2008 have had fully fledged web browsers and have had WiFi connectivity so that they can stream video clips, watch the news or stream music wirelessly with their mobile phones.

SMART phones have revolutionised the way we stay in contact. Besides being able to ring or send a SMS to someone’s smart phone, you can also contact them via any of the social networks they are apart of, then the mobile phone will notify them of the incoming message.

Advantages

Mobile phones are just that, mobile. They can be used anywhere so long as there is a base provider near where you are. Aswell as being able to keep in contact with everyone that has a telephone or mobile phone, you can let people know where you are and let them know you are safe. The emergency number (999) is free to call and with or without reception will still work. Furthermore most mobile phones now offer digital cameras as standard, making events even easier to capture. Along with MP3 players and internet browsers, they have slowly crept into other devices territory and are now one of the most essential multi-media devices to have.

Disadvantages

Reception is not always available everywhere, especially in rural areas. Mobile phones may be a risk to your health and there has been research that has linked long term use of mobile phones with cancer. They are also expensive, and usually have to come with a service contract that can start with more then £20+ for mid-range mobile phones.

How dependant are we on ICT?

Mobile phones have been popular since they can out in the 1980’s, and are increasingly being used. People now use not only one, but even two or three phones to keep in touch with others, for entertainment (such as games, camera, etc) and to use their different phones to their full potential. Mobile phones are popular because it is a form of communication, even over far distances, because it is cordless, compact and you can carry it everywhere. The second reason for the popularity of mobile phones is that they have become a fashion accessory; most people have a mobile or two and are constantly competing for the best model. Because of the high competition; mobile manufacturers add features such as mp3’s, camera’s, external memory etc which makes it more than just a mobile phone, it becomes a part of life and something that you rely on example as an alarm clock or as a telephone diary.

A world without ICT

Without mobile phones, life would be much more complicated and difficult. Mobile phones are not a necessity, but they would be preferred in the case of emergencies. Other methods of communication, such as e-mail, pager, or letters would be used much more often and are definitely more inconvenient than mobile phones.

Laws

The use of mobile phones whilst driving has increased the amount of accidents and car related deaths due to the mental distraction and divided attention. In December 2003, the use of handheld mobile phones has been banned in the car. Anyone using a handheld mobile phone will be fined and have 3 points taken away from their driver’s license. Instead of using hand held mobile phones, hands free devices have been suggested and also keeping conversations short. In 1998 the ICNIRP standard uses the limit of 450μW/cm2 at 900 MHz, and 950 μW/cm2 at 1900 MHz. This is a guideline that all wireless technology including mobile phones have to be under and therefore allow the devices to be safe for use.

Evaluation

Communication has undergone a complete facelift with the improvement and inclusion of ICT. People can now have conversations in many different means, be that a conventional phone call, or a SMS message, or perhaps a video call. ICT has removed the boundaries there were originally put in place when thinking about communicating. For a very low fee, or in some cases for free, people can contact distant relatives in far off countries, or share special moments with friends and families afar. Though arguably this increase in impersonal communication has made us as a people more anti-social, but this increase in constant communication can also be seen as improving relations with people we would otherwise not be able to keep in touch with.