The world has seen some amazing changes in our ability to communicate over the last century, beginning with the mutually independent invention of telephones by both Alexander Graham Bell and Mr. Elisha Gray. From their relatively rudimentary devices we have developed and improved the process several times. The evolution to the capabilities of your telecommunications provider of today would astound these founding fathers.
As social creatures, the desire to speak with other people is a deep natural drive. When it comes to loved ones, the farther away they are and the longer they have been gone, the greater the need to communicate. Certainly the earliest methods, using letter carriers, worked adequately, but as soon as it was invented the success of the telephone was assured for both business and personal reasons.
Almost as a device was invented that allowed us to transmit voice over wire, its inventors realized they had a gold mine on their hands. From the general public, business and military desire for the ability created a situation where demand exceeded capability for many years. In the meantime, the drive ensued to develop the capability to transmit images from one location to another as well.
While it could never have been imagined while telephones and televisions were dominating as household and business communication devices, there was another invention on the horizon. The invention of the computer would not replace them, but in a synergistic way, make all three even more important. The telephone was a critical accessory to business, television provided information from a global perspective, and the computer allowed from the manipulation of the information gained from the other two.
These changes have been dramatic, and have literally seen the demise of certain very successful business endeavors even as new ones were created. The Video Cassette Recorder first had an infamous format war at its beginning, and was wildly popular and successful, but succumbed rather quickly to the unquestionable superior technology of the digital video disc. Ironically, the DVD may be done in by the blu ray disc as the cycle of improvement continues.
As the digital era progressed, a slow but steady blurring of uses for each device began to occur. Computers could be used successfully to control telephones. Television programming can be seen on the computer. Computer information can be sent and received by the phone. The television can serve as a monitor and receiver for the computer. The separation now has become a matter of preference and convenience as defined by each user.
In what may be a serious change in the method we communicate, the telephone may begin to take advantage of the superior infrastructure the computer and its fiber optic network has built. While this is somewhat like a step backward, as we are, in a sense, embracing the tethering of telephone to a computer, the ubiquitous nature of laptop and Wi-Fi technology means that again, it is up to the user to decide what package is right, and the telecommunications provider to capitalize on flexibility.