Modern technology has enabled the creation of a myriad of new communication tools, sites and software. Likewise, improvements and additions are constantly being made to existing devices to maintain the highest quality of communication possible. There are many types of communication available; the choice depends on where you are, how much time you have and how much (if any) you prefer to pay.
The capabilities of cell phones have continued to increase since their introduction in the late 1980s. In addition to basic text messaging and wireless phone conversations, many cell phones enable their users to send and receive email, pictures and recorded videos. Bluetooth technology has further increased the communicative value of cell phones, allowing talkers to carry on their conversations hands-free with the use of a small, one-sided headset.
Skype is a downloadable software that enables users to make free phone calls and send messages via the Internet. The service also offers video phone calling, allowing users to watch each other in real time while they speak. Use of Skype's free features requires a broadband Internet connection as does its paid features. Both businesses and private individuals have benefited from the convenience and immediacy of Skype's communication tools.
Instant messaging (or IMing) enables users to communicate with each other on the Internet via short written (or sometimes spoken) messages delivered almost immediately after the content is created. Instant messaging is a less cumbersome form of email as well as a faster way of facilitating complete conversations in real time. MSN, Yahoo, Facebook and America Online are a few of the services that offer messaging tools and programs for their users.
Twitter is a popular social networking site created in 2008. While the concept is not unlike similar social sites such as MySpace and Facebook, Twitter is unique in that users can write (or "tweet") messages from either their computer or cell phone in short, concise updates, as often as they please. The concept of Twitter revolves around the idea that people can stay updated on the events of others' lives without spending a lot of time sifting through extraneous information or more elaborate weblogs. Another perk is the fact that Twitter is completely free and requires no special software.
Although email is not brand new, there are definitely new and innovative ways of accessing this tool remotely and without the usage of a computer. Many PDAs and cell phone services offer access to email, with the capability of sending and receiving messages from the devices themselves. This technology can be extremely helpful for those who must stay in constant communication with family members, co-workers or other acquaintances without being bound to larger computers or laptops.