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Communication - Then and Now

By Rosalyn Bronstein

If you think about what life must have been like 150 years ago, when long distance communication meant putting pen to paper, it's astonishing to think about how far we"ve come. Today, many people will tell you they feel positively naked without a cell phone dangling from the hip, and a palm pilot or Blackberry in the pocket. Handbags are now specially designed with these and similar items in mind. These are "can't do withouts", and we haven't even touched on the computer.

The coming of electronic media was certainly revolutionary. People now had choices of how they were going to get - and give - their news. I remember growing up in a large house, with an entire room devoted to the telephone. There was a small desk, chair, lamp, and telephone. Nothing more.

In the 21st Century, this seems like a way to converse straight out of the Middle Ages, as we walk around with phone in hand. And by using voice over Internet Protocol, the computer is converted into an inexpensive phone. Voice sounds are compressed into data packets and sent without the need for traditional phone lines.

But what about those times when you want to send a written message, but don't fancy having to involve the post office. Well, that's covered, too, which is why e-mail has come of age. Although fairly new, e-mail is already experiencing massive problems - spam, unwanted advertising, and computer viruses - due to unscrupulous people whose aim is to hurt and/or profit unethically.

E-mail, as we currently know it, must evolve into another form. There are currently discussions about charging senders in order to stop the spam - but what about the poor soul whose computer is unknowingly "hijacked by a spammer, to send out junk by the millions? Most of these spammers are not in the U.S., and therefore not subject to U.S. laws. Another consideration is charging to receive e-mail. But either way, there are additional things to contend with besides receiving the message itself - unwanted advertising and computer viruses.

The solution seems to be finding another way to get the written word and picture to recipients by finding a bypass that eliminates the problems. Legislation is slow and clumsy, and those intent on causing harm seem to be one step ahead of the regulators.


About the Author

Rosalyn Bronstein, for more than 20 years an author and consultant, has been an advisor to numerous multinational corporations and international organizations. Understanding the value of maintaining relationships, www.ntouchnrat.com was created. It's a unique and secure way to never lose touch again with the people who have brought meaning to your life without having to use e-mail.


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