Long-distance communication is easier than ever thanks to three advances in technology that have only been around for a few decades: the cell phone, Internet and Wi-Fi. Now people can communicate around the world and spread information very broadly. Even home appliances form a part of this electronic grid.
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The Internet is the most significant communication technology, as of 2011. The Internet has an immense number of communication channels through which individuals can communicate person-to-person or in groups that can include millions of people. The Internet can transmit sound, video, text, static images and various other types of information instantaneously throughout the entire world. Through the Internet, one individual can disseminate information to everyone who has Internet access and can understand the message.
Within the Internet are several subcategories of technologies that have made a major impact on communication. Social media have allowed for citizen journalists to report news as it happens. Recommendation systems and PageRank algorithms allow Internet users to recommend content, which causes content to become more visible to other Internet users.
As websites become increasingly more interconnected, Internet users can communicate with each other across multiple channels. For example, a user can sign into a social networking account and then leave comments on a content website through the social networking account. Through status updates on various networking sites, users can keep in touch with friends and family at all times.
Cell phones were once only used to talk to other cell phone users -- the same way that traditional landline phones are used. But cell phones now allow users to send text messages, video and images taken by the phone. This allows almost anyone to record information and send it to friends or upload the information on the Internet. Major political events and natural disasters can be recorded and uploaded.
With wireless Internet technology, also known as Wi-Fi, any device with a wireless Internet connection can connect directly to the Internet without needing to connect to a modem. Because many businesses and institutions offer Wi-Fi, Internet users have more flexibility in where they can use the Internet. Wi-Fi technology has allowed multiple devices to become interconnected. Cell phones, computers, digital cameras and other devices can send information, allowing Internet users to communicate with any device that they have available. This allows friends and coworkers to remain interconnected at all times.
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