Communication….. Then, Now and In The Future

As a baby boomer being in the workforce for over 40 years, I can say that I have seen some compelling changes in the way we communicate in business.

Before computers, email or faxes, one very early form of communication that was used in my workplace was Telex via a Teleprinter Machine similar to the one pictured below. The Telex network is a switched network of teleprinters similar to a telephone network and it was used to send text-based messages. It began in Germany as a research development program in 1926 and became an operational teleprinter service in 1933.


A Teletype Model 32 used for Telex service.

Image source: Wikipedia.

Over the past two decades, technology has transformed communication by making it more and more pervasive. Advances in computer and telephone technology have created an explosion in the ways we can reach each other: by fax, cell phone, e-mail, text message, blog, LinkedIn and Facebook.

A survey commissioned in the U.K. found that respondents spent an average of 3 hours and 45 minutes talking on the phone, e-mailing and sending text messages [source: BBC News]. Some of these communication tools allow us to work more efficiently; for example, a manager can send a meeting agenda to the whole office with one e-mail, a process that once would have required typing a memo, making copies, and distributing them to each desk.

We’ve come a long way since Alexander Graham Bell’s invention of the telephone in 1876. Yet many of us still use telephones as well as mobile phones. In the late 1970s and 1980s, the car phone was more popular than the regular mobile phone. However, since the mobile phone boom in the 1990s, when mobile phones became much more affordable, the car phone became less popular as most people carry their mobile phone around with them, and the availability of hands free kits installed into many cars allow the driver to talk and listen to a call while driving.

Many people assume that the way they communicate is the way everyone communicates.

Here is a brief chart of communication preferences and communication obstacles for the various generations.

This information is part of an excellent article that helps explain the differences between the generations and the differences in communication styles. Source: http://bit.ly/a1kFKY

Yours in Communication

Angie Rapisarda