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Effects Of Converged Information & Communication

It is widely theorised that information communication technology has been created and implemented into the daily lives of the global citizenship, it has impacted the manner in which people interact socially. ICT is the use of technology to distribute information through a connective medium. ICT includes all the mediums of digital technology that transfers information from one place to its destination. Information refers to the creation, manipulation, and dissemination of thoughts and ideas.

To this point, ICT can refer to office base software, such as Microsoft Word, database software such as Oracle, and graphic design software such as Macromedia Freehand. Communications refers to the manner in which information is delivered from one point of access to a point of exit. This would include radio and POD broadcasts, television shows, e-mail, Web-pages, and so forth. Communication, in the sense of ICT, is the transfer of created information through an electronic network. Technology refers to the actual medium that information is communicated through.

This is the personal computer, the cellular phone, the television, and any other electronic device that can send and/or receive communicated information. Social Connectivity Social connectivity is the manner in which people within a society communicate with each other. ICT, as

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defined in the above, has literally changed the manner in which humans communicate. Information can be shared across geographical and political borders, and often without direct supervision of an authoritative figure.

This not only changes how humanity communicates, but who we communicate with and why we communicate. A social network is, traditionally speaking, the person’s geographical-local connectivity with family, friends, and meetings. The Internet has changed the manner in which the social network of people is activated, where “79% of Internet users who say they communicate with friends and family use the Internet for such communications” (Fallows p 2 2004).

Other researchers have found that teenagers use ICT for social networking in a variety of ways. More than half of American teenagers use ICT for social networking to stay in touch with friends, make plans, make new friends, and even flirt (Lenhart and Madden p 2 2007). Humans build society because our nature is to create institutions of communication (Nei p 51 1999). “When one type of institution fails to meet some deep-seated human need, another is often (but not inevitably) invented to take up at the slack” (Nei p 51 1999).

The barriers of time and place (Palen 2002) created this ‘slack’ (Nei 1999). Mobile (or cellular) telephones are a strong example of ICT that have changed the manners in which humans’ function in the social institution. “Mobile phones in social networks are generally used to support relationships outside of physical places and times they are usually fostered, as well as increased accessibility and relevance of membership in a network of social relationship and the expansion of these social networks” (Palen p 79 2002).

Based on the social connection ideas of Nei (1999) and Palen (2002), it can be stated that ICT is an institutional network of social communication created to overcome the physical barriers of time and place. As a social network, ICT has a tremendous impact on the manner in which humans “explore everyday interpersonal communication” (Fallows p 2 2004). ICT Convergence ICT convergence is an important concept in understanding the impacts ICT has on social connectivity. ICT convergence has many real world applications.

In recent technology generations, ICT convergence has impacted not only how people communicate using digital devices, but the management of content to transport secure information through a variety of mediums (Smith 2004). These mediums include television, the Internet, mobile devices and other channels (Smith 2004). ICT convergence has created the technological digitization of all media and telecommunication technologies imply increased relationships between information distribution formats of communication that create multiple medium uses and active production of technology (Drotner p 53 2005).

The mobility of integrated media technology allows for the increasingly smaller media devices that are a fusion of media and technology (Drotner p 53 2005). The innovations in ICT convergence have occurred in increments that are explained as an improvement of technology performance with increased product feature enhancement (Hacklin, Raurich and Marxt 2005). This allows for innovation to be defined based on technologies previously new to the world and combined with their effects on social markets (Hacklin, Raurich and Marxt 2005).

The development of convergence ICT and media technology has reoriented personal lives to incorporate time in the use of communication (Drotner p 53 2005). Telecommuting, for example, is working outside of the traditional office space using digital technology to create, access, or retrieve information vital to the functional role of one’s employment. Telecommuting allows people to work from home, from the road while travelling, or from any region with Internet access. The desired goal of an information systems strategy is to increase productivity of information, and therefore increase the value of information.

Telecommuting has improved employee productivity from ten to forty percent (Nei p 52 1999). In this manner, ICT convergence has revolutionised the way in which information is transmitted and received. This impacts the ‘digital information supply chain’ by driving the convergence of broadcast technologies and Internet protocols, which have resulted in disruptive challenges when traditional, singular devices are used to approach social communication technologies, particularly in the case of ICT service providers (Smith 2004).

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