MODULE 2: TECHNOLOGY, CULTURE & COMMUNICATION
DEVELOPMENTS IN COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY
Technology has evolved to meet people's contextual communication needs. When I say contextual, I mean that the type and range of communication are based on the purpose and audience. So, many years ago, the local newspaper was the medium to transmit information in your country, sometimes just your town (if it's a local newspaper) but then came satellites. With the satellite came a plethora of advancements that took information from just your small town and country, to include the world. Satellites allowed for the creation and evolution of the Internet, satellite radio, digital conferencing, social networking, and cable television. Information is now available at the click of a computer, laptop, or smartphone button. The question now becomes: what medium is most suitable to get my message out to a particular audience.
MEDIA: ENHANCING & FACILITATING COMMUNICATION
How does media facilitate communication? It does so based on the range, or reach that it has. All of the media represented above have a wide range, so the more important question becomes: which media is most suitable to convey my message and reach my audience? Here is a scenario. The principal wants to convey the message that students should be early for school. Her audience is the students and parents. Would she use the same medium to convey her single message? The answer is no. The principal could decide to send the message on the school's Facebook page, coupled with a digital conferencing meeting with the parents, to get her message across. For the students, however, she might consider placing an ad, with a skit, on the school's Instagram page, encouraging the students to be on time for school. So, what we see is that the media has to fit the audience, for the message to be successfully transmitted.
Media also enhances communication because it has a reach that extends around the globe, due to the presence of the internet. So, the digital conference meeting with parents can facilitate parents who live anywhere in the world. For example, the parent of a child attending school in Trinidad, who lives in the UK, could access that meeting and receive the principal's message.
TECHNOLOGY & CULTURAL COMMUNICATION PATTERNS
In order to discuss the impact of technology on cultural communication patterns in the Caribbean, we first have to identify what those initial cultural patterns are. So, initially, there were text messages, BBM, and Microsoft Messenger, to name a few. The communication in the Caribbean region is now richer because we are no longer reliant/ restricted by the use of simple emojis and text, but we can now post profiles and statuses, personalized avatars, and post videos. So culturally, we are now able to share our experiences in a more vivid format. With the proliferation of faster and more affordable internet, we are now able to communicate in real-time, therefore, we can more effectively convey the experience and the environment around said experience, using streaming tools found in Social media like Facebook Live, TikTok Live, and Instagram Live. Communication is now married to one's Social Media, which is probably the largest influential change in the Caribbean region.
THE EFFECT OF TECHNOLOGY ON LANGUAGE USE
Technology has affected language use. We now use abbreviations such as SMH (shake mi head), IDK (I don't know), and KMT (kiss mi teet). It has also allowed us to be less formal and verbose, even to communicate serious issues. Even the letter format has become less formalized with RGD, replacing regards. Technology has also allowed us to share the common language of emojis, regardless of language and cultural affiliation.
Contributor: Leisa Samuels-Thomas
Shaun Thomas (IT Professional)
Shaun Thomas (IT Professional)