Advances in technology have led to the birth of many new methods of electronic communication, such as social networking websites and videoconferences. The increase of electronic communication has helped to eliminate time and distance as obstacles to communication. This has been beneficial to many parts of society, including business, education and international relationships.
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For businesses, technology has increased the flow of communication within the workplace. Electronic communication methods used in the workplace include email, voicemail, videoconferences, online newsletters, instant messages and the Intranet. The Intranet, a company exclusive website, can be a great way for you, as a manager, to obtain feedback from your workers. Pearson Education, the leading publisher in educational books, recommends setting up a gripe site on your company's Intranet in order to obtain constructive criticism from your employees.
Technology has improved the field of cultural education by giving children the opportunity to speak with kids from different cultures. By interacting with children of other cultures through computer-mediated communication, such as instant messages and emails, children can learn first hand about other cultures. Computer-mediated communication also helps to make research more convenient by giving students access to a large amount of information while in a school classroom or the comfort of their own home.
Electronic communication has improved international relationships by making global communication more accessible. Technology has helped to create awareness of global issues by increasing the amount of international news. For businesses, electronic communication has created new opportunities for expanding businesses internationally. An important part of international business involves understanding the cultures of other countries. This may involve research and culture education classes.
Communication technology can also improve the life of individuals with communication disabilities, such as weak vocal cords and hearing impairments. For example, hearing aids help to overcome challenges caused by a hearing impairment. In cases where technology can't assist in overcoming communication disorders, technology can be used as a communicative substitute. For instance, an individual who has trouble speaking can use a computer to communicate messages back and forth with others.
While technology can be very beneficial to communication, electronic communication can also become an obstacle to effective communication. By increasing access to communication, technology has created the problem of information overload. Information overload occurs when information gets communicated at a faster rate than what you can process. Ways to decrease risk of information overload include combining smaller messages into one message and selecting an appropriate method of communication. For instance, if you have an important message, using your phone, rather than email, helps to ensure your message won't get lost in the mix of other communications.