Over the last two decades, digital technology has become an essential part of people’s daily life and has caused an enormous influence on how the communication occurs. According to the research of the International Telecommunication Union(ITU), there were only 500 million mobile users in the 2000,but ten years later in the 2010,this number reached 4. 6 billion(2010). Digital technology is a base two process, because the digitized information is recorded in binary code which is the combination of the digits 0 and 1.And it is applied in modern electronic devices such as mobile phones and laptops. Some of the reasons why there is a increase in the use of digital technology are generally considered to be the effect of conformity, promotion in efficiency due to the development in technology and the impact of globalization. It has resulted in the development in new form of language and online communication ,and also a enhancement of personal social life.Conformity is a type of social influence relating to a change in behaviour or thought to fit in with the society or a particular group which resulted from either real or imagined social or group pressure(McLeod,2007).
As untethered devices became increasingly common, people, especially adolescents, might be influenced by it and in order to gain social identity or simply not feel to be left out (D. G. Myers. 2004),them may react with similar corresponding behaviours, thus resulting in the increasing use of digital technology.The improvement in mobile technologies and applications and easy access to internet have now made working more efficient.
In the Optus ‘Future of Work’ report, it showed that due to several factors such as the convenience brought by the development of cloud computing, the employee are showing a growing demand of using electronic devices at work.? our report found that the widespread adoption of mobile technologies, increased use of internal collaboration tools, and greater employee access to social media is changing how we work and creating more workplace flexibility and productivity. said Rob Parcell, the managing Director at Optus Business (Optus,2011).
Globalization is another cause, it refers to the increasing relationships of culture, people, and economic activity world widely. And as a result of the growing economic activity, the trading of goods and the capital exchange required high speed of carrying and capacity of digital telecommunications(Harris,1999), which leads to the growth in use of digital technology. As a consequence of all these causes above, the use of digital technology has raised.This rise has affected the way communication occurs and directly lead to the shaping of new forms of language such as the one that is frequently used in texts. The main characteristic of this kind of ‘text-speak’ is rebus abbreviation made out of a combination of letters(Crystal,2003).
For example, RUOK is equal to ‘are you ok? ’. Expressions like this can save both time and energy, and maybe even money. But these kind of expressions is not only restricted to texts, it is also available in other electronic domains. More over, this form of language proved that people are capable of adapting to new linguistic situations.In Textspeak, we are seeing the evolution of language in a small way, says the author of Language and the Internet. Another effect is that the increasing use of digital technology has promoted the online communication and the use of social media. And as the access to internet has becoming increasingly convenient through mobile phones and wireless technology, it is easy for us to keep in touch with friends on the internet, and the social network gave adolescents the chance to be creative, get feed back from friends, and keep updated with friends on each others’ daily events(Healey).
Moreover, social media is even more important to those who suffer from physical or mental disabilities. ?Social media gives voices to individuals marginalised and ignored by traditional media, enabling the world to hear these voices for the first time in history. ?says Glenda Watson(Healey). In the same time, it also give them the tools that can be used to stay connected with the world. And for the ones that suffer from anxiety, they can have opportunities to communicate or play games with other on the internet without feeling anxious(Novotney,2012).Further more, in a study of 63 Cornell University students, researchers have found that people are reported to be more confident after spending time on their Facebook than looking at a mirror(Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking,2011). This is because Facebook can show a positive picture of ourselves, says Jeffrey Hancock, a communications professor of Cornell.
But there are also negative influence, people spending too much time online may sacrifice their time spending with real-life friends, this could lead to the loose of face-to-face communication ability. when we do that, we miss the connections that count, with the people we love, with our physical surroundings. ’ says Turkle , the author of Alone Together. And a study of 99 undergraduates led by Holly Schiffrin, a University psychology professor, showed a sigh of decreasing well-being in those who spent more time on the Internet(Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 2010), thus lead to the decrease in direct interactions between each other.
In conclusion, the increasing use of digital technology is caused by several different factors and it has had both positive and negative influence on how communications occur.