Through the years, communication has evolved drastically. The way people communicate with each other today is entirely different from the late centuries. Before, communication was only from person to person, until it was developed to signs and symbols, alphabets, letters and telephone. Today, the Internet has created a way to innumerable means of communication. Technology has redefined communication better. Nowadays, people no longer have to wait for days to receive an information or message. Today, texts, e-mails, tweets and personal messages can reach a person in just a matter of seconds.
Cave Paintings: The most well-known form of primitive communication is the cave paintings. The artistic paintings were created by man that appeared around 130,000 B.C.E. The method of cave paintings involved creating pigments made from the juice of fruits and berries, coloured minerals, or animal blood. These pigments was later used to create depictions of primitive life on the cave walls.
- Symbols: Our early ancestors used different variations of signs and symbols to communicate with others. Around 10,000 B.C., petroglyphs were created. They were carvings in the rock surface which is usually referred to as a rock art. In 9,000 B.C., pictograms were developed. Later on, ancient cultures developed ideograms. Egyptians had their hieroglyphs. Chinese created characters. Lastly, it was in 2,000 B.C the alphabet was developed, which redefined language and communication.
- Smoke Signals: Apart from letters and symbols, ancient people also found some elements to communicate. Smoke signals were primarily used for sending messages in China. In 200 B.C., guards execute smoke to send messages along The Great Wall of China. In 150 B.C., Greek Historian developed smoke signals representing the alphabet.
- Carrier Pigeons: As we all know, pigeons are naturally great when it comes to finding directions. Over 2,000 years ago, the ancient Romans used carrier pigeons as primary messengers between military men. They also played a vital role in World War I and II.
- Postal System: During the ancient period, Egyptians used courier to send out decrees in 2,400 B.C. Postal systems were organized in Persia, China, India, and Rome. On the other hand, it was only in 1653 when Frenchman De Valier started a postal system in Paris which involved the use of mailboxes and delivery of paid envelopes.
- Newspaper: In 1440, German Johannes Gutenberg developed the printing press system which changed communication forever. With this, the newspaper began to flourish in the early 16th century. The German-language publication of Johann Carolus in Strasbourg in the year 1605 was the first newspaper. The English-language newspaper was first published in Amsterdam in 1620.
- Radio: After printing press media flourished and was followed by radio systems. Within the 1830s, many scientists like Maxwell and Hughes studied on wireless telegraphy which developed the speculation of electromagnetism. In 1888, Heinrich Rudolf Hertz discovered “Hertzian waves”, named after his name. In 1893, Tesla started to use wireless power as a form of transmitting content. In the early 20th century, radio broadcasting system began.
- Telegraph: Telegraph communication started after the invention of Morse code which encoded the ISO basic Latin alphabet. The Morse code transmitted information through series of clicks, tones, and lights. In 1830, Samuel Morse integrated the Morse code in telegraphy technology that revolutionized for long-distance communication.
- Telephone: The telegraph was immediately replaced by the telephone. It was invented in 1876 by Scottish Alexander Graham Bell. The telephone acts as a telecommunication device that converts human audio signals to electronic signals which are transmitted through cables. It was further developed to commercially send messages to local and long distant calls. In the 1900s, landline telephone service began and up until now, the telephone remains one of the most reliable telecommunication devices.
- Television: After telephones, television started to become a mode of indirect communication to a greater number of audiences. The television was invented by efforts of various people. The earliest records of TV broadcasting occurred after the World War II where the display was still black and white. Now, more than 1.5 billion has a television in their households.
- Internet: After the creation of computers in the late 1950s, the ARPANET, which was the early predecessor of the internet, was developed. The ARPANET was designed to manage communication between ARPA computers in the 1960s. The term “internet” was first emerged in 1973. The first internet service provider was the Telenet and in 1983, the domain system started. In 1991, Tim Berners-Lee, a scientist at CERN, introduced the World Wide Web (www) which definitely made the modern internet start.
- E-mail: With the onset of the internet, electronic mails started to be more used. In 1975, John Vittal developed a software to organize the emails. At that time, 75% of ARPANET traffic was email. In 1994, Yahoo was born and followed by other mailing platforms including Hotmail and Google Mail.
- Text Message: The first official SMS message was sent on December 3, 1992 by Neil Papworth, an engineer from Sema Group (now Air wide Solutions). He used a computer to send “Merry Christmas” through the Vodafone network. In 1994, the Radiolinja was the first network service provider to start person-to-person text messaging. Now, SMS has been used in which over 9 trillion SMS are sent every year.
- Social Media: The latest mode of communication in today’s world is the use of social media platforms. It has become more available because of the availability of smartphones where social media apps can easily be installed. In 2004, Facebook was created by Mark Zuckerberg. Today, the Instagram is one of the most widely used messaging apps. The count of Facebook users has reached above 2 billion. In 2005, YouTube became the first-ever video hosting social media site. And the social media platform is still growing.
Communication has seasoned lots of stages before it became so convenient and efficient today. In the 21st century the importance of information was fuelled by advancements in technology and communication. And as information became more valuable, the methods that is used to send it became more of a priority. The journey of the communication has come a long way, and it’s only getting better. Thus, our role is to use these communication tools responsibly and efficiently in the right way.