November 1, 2023
14 min read
Chances are, you’re familiar with communication technology. Today, the use of smartphones, computers, and even AI chatbots make communication easier than ever.
Still, there are definitely drawbacks to this tech, too. We’ll give you the overview on what you need to know about this specific type of technology, from the common subtypes to the benefits and drawbacks, and which tools are worth trying out.
Communication technology refers to tools and programs that allow people to give and receive pieces of information. In a nutshell, this type of technology allows and improves communication.
There are tons of examples of communication technology, and not all examples are digital. For example, something as simple as a pen and a piece of paper still counts as communication tech, as it aids in successful communication.
However, other communication technology examples that are newer could include things like:
There are tons of types of communication technology. Anything that can be used to benefit or boost communication should be considered.
Here are some of the most common types of communication technology.
The most common type of communication technology today is phones — particularly smartphones. They’re a tried-and-true communication tool that allows for long distance connection.
Though telephones have changed a lot since their conception, the purpose behind them remains the same.
For the past two decades, instant messaging has been a huge area of communication technology. For example, AOL instant messenger was a very popular method of communication in the late ’90s and 2000s. Microsoft’s MSN Messenger was another common tool during this time.
Today, instant messaging is available in many channels, such as X (formerly Twitter), Facebook Messenger, Google Chat, Instagram, and other platforms.
In a similar vein, email is another example of communication technology introduced decades ago that’s still going strong today.
For example, Hotmail was an email platform from Microsoft that was rebranded over time to Outlook. Still, it offers the same general services. Other common email platforms include:
It’s hard to imagine a world without social media, but before social media, connecting with others outside of a person’s usual circle was pretty difficult. Social media platforms — namely Facebook (Meta), X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, and Snapchat — are a great example of communication technology.
It helps people communicate from all over the world, instantaneously. For example, people can share photos, videos, and other information to better connect with others.
Video conferencing is an extremely powerful communication technology tool that gives others the chance to talk with each other face-to-face, no matter where in the world they are. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of video conferencing apps like Zoom and Google Meet exploded in popularity. Because people could no longer have as many face-to-face meetings, Zoom meetings became the new normal, leading to unexpected side effects, such as Zoom fatigue.
The concept of the internet — the World Wide Web — revolutionized communication. Since its conception, people have been able to talk to anyone across the globe online. Finding information became even more accessible and more efficient, especially with the introduction of Google’s search engine.
There are also other types of communication technology that are less common or not considered as often. These include things like:
Within the past 100 years, communication technology has absolutely exploded. Today, there are so many options when it comes to tech tools to use for communication.
Here are the nine best communication technology tools you should be using.
In terms of communication technology — especially when it comes to improving your communication skills — Yoodli is the top pick.
This speech coach app relies on AI to aid users in building a foundation for their communication skills. It’s perfect for both professional environments and for personal use. As such, there are loads of solutions Yoodli can offer its users.
Some of the most common ways people use Yoodli include to:
For example, you can record or upload a video of yourself practicing your upcoming presentation on DEIB and Yoodli will provide instantaneous data and metrics to help you improve.
You’ll get data like your speaking rate, filler word usage, word choice, talk time, for example. Yoodli uses this data to give actionable tips and feedback on how you can improve. If you struggle with inclusive language, Yoodli can identify instances of noninclusive language and provide you with alternatives to use.
Check out the overview video below to learn more about how to use Yoodli to your advantage:
One of the best instant messaging apps available is WhatsApp, a cross-platform, freeware service owned by Meta Platforms. With WhatsApp, you can send instant messages, voice and video messages, and media like documents, locations, and images. In addition to that, this app also allows users to make voice and video calls.
WhatsApp is available all over the world, making it one of the most common solutions for global communication. No matter where you are, you should be able to connect with others through WhatsApp.
It’s also extremely versatile, as it can be used in professional environments like at work or school, or in personal spaces, like a family group chat. It’s free to download and use, too.
The COVID-19 pandemic changed both educational and work environments all over the world as people shifted to virtual communication. As a result, Zoom became more popular than ever.
Zoom is a video conferencing app that allows people to participate in video calls. You can connect with your phone or your computer and join voice or video calls. You can also send instant messages in the chat box during calls.
This app revolutionized communication and collaboration, especially in professional settings. Things like Zoom interviews weren’t as common pre-pandemic, for example. It’s free to use, although there are paid plans that give users more features.
If you’re in the gaming community in any capacity, you’ve probably heard of Discord. It’s a tried-and-true instant messaging app released in 2015 that’s especially common with people who play computer games.
With Discord, you can set up private chats with friends or servers, which are usually larger chat rooms that can house topic-based channels and online communities. As a communication technology app, people who use Discord can send instant messages, media, and other files, as well as participate in video or voice calls.
It’s available in 30 different languages and is free to use.
One of the most well-known examples of communication technology is Slack, the messaging app targeted toward business teams.
Slack uses cloud-based technology to allow for instant messaging. Although it’s ideal for communication within businesses, companies, and other professional environments, Slack has definitely evolved as a more versatile platform.
On Slack, you can do things like:
Even though it was originally created for business environments and team communications, Google Chat has now expanded its audience to include virtually anyone. Developed by Google, this chat service allows users to instant message each other on the platform.
Still, Google Chat is most commonly used in work environments and other environments where teamwork and collaboration is the focus.
On the platform, you can do things like:
Although it was previously known as Flipgrid, the creator of this popular web and mobile app (Microsoft) rebranded it as simply “Flip.” Flip is a free app targeted toward students and teachers to improve communication education and literacy.
For example, educators can use it to form online groups for their students who can then answer questions and provide feedback through various means of communication, like audio, text, or video messages.
To do so, teachers and professors invite students and create a group. Next, they may post a topic for discussion or an assignment that students can respond to. With Flip, the educator can see student responses and offer comments and feedback as well.
The app is pretty useful and as such, it’s one of the best educational communication technology examples out there.
Snapchat — recognizable by its iconic ghost logo — is a popular multimedia app for instant messaging. Users who have the app can find their friends and send instant messages, pictures, and videos to communicate. On the app, you can also upload “stories” which are photos or videos that are featured on your profile icon for about 24 hours.
During the past few years, Snapchat has released several updates, the latest being its introduction to My AI, the user’s personal generative AI chatbot assistant.
There is one drawback to Snapchat, depending on who you ask. The messages, videos, and pictures are usually only available for a few seconds. After you receive and open a message, it’ll typically disappear soon after.
Snapchat was launched in 2011 and is still going strong, more than a decade later.
One of the best note-taking apps, if not the best, is Evernote. It’s an app that helps with both note taking and task and project management. It’s a great communication technology tool, especially as it allows for online collaboration.
With Evernote, you can create notes (or archive them later) and include elements like audio, scans, web content, PDFs, documents, or photos. These notes can be edited, tagged, annotated, and exported, as well. Your notes live in online notebooks which can be searched for ease of access. They’ll automatically sync across your devices, too.
This app is especially beneficial if you’re a student or a corporate employee, since you can organize your schedule and tasks right on Evernote. It can help you make sure you don’t miss deadlines and it can even sync up to your Google Calendar. If you’re a student, make sure you check out Evernote’s student discount.
Because communication technology is meant to help people communicate with each other, there are naturally loads of benefits. For example, some of the main benefits to using communication technology are:
Work across all industries have seen more efficiency and convenience thanks to communication technology. This type of tech can automate some tasks, similarly to how HR technology does, and this makes employees more productive. They can work on other, more pressing tasks and let their tech handle smaller things that can be streamlined. It’s more convenient this way, too.
Because the internet has made the globe a little smaller in terms of connectivity, people have more access to global services and information. Instead of being limited to the research and information nearest to you (whether that’s word-of-mouth or at your local library), you now have easy access to info on any topic.
It’s easier now than ever to learn about current events, research a certain subject, or learn a new skill entirely.
Today, it doesn’t matter where your friends, family members, or coworkers are based — you’ll be able to connect with them through communication technology like phone calls, texts, and email.
This is one of the most significant benefits to this type of tech. It’s particularly helpful for people whose friends, family members, and coworkers live farther away from each other and for those who live in remote areas.
Despite the push for employees to return to the office after working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, communication technology has boosted collaborative efforts and made collaborating easier than it’s ever been.
People all over the world can brainstorm together virtually using videoconferencing apps or email, for example. Students, corporate employees, and anyone else can use this type of technology to connect with each other and throw ideas around.
Even in in-person settings, communication technology has facilitated teamwork and collaborative efforts.
That doesn’t mean this type of technology exists without any disadvantages. Although there are tons of benefits, there are definitely some drawbacks to communication technology.
People say once something’s posted on the internet, it never truly goes away, even if you delete it. This is certainly true to an extent, which is one of the reasons why communication technology can lead to privacy violations and concerns over personal (and even governmental) security.
AI has had similar consequences, as scammers can use it to imitate a person’s voice — say, a friend or family member — and pretend to be in an emergency situation that warrants you to send money to them, for example.
Your data can be mined from the internet and used against you and without your consent. Cyberattacks are a common but unintended consequence of this technology.
As the world witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic, misinformation and disinformation spread rapidly on social media platforms and the internet in general. Because information is so much more accessible, misinformation and disinformation are just as widely available.
Common myths begin on the internet and tend to crop up in topic areas like politics, social and cultural subjects, and health.
If you’ve ever had a smartphone or a social media account of any kind, you probably have an idea of how distracting phones can be. Communication technology uses lots of different notifications, whether that’s a phone ringing, an instant message ping, or a push notification on your phone.
Unfortunately, these types of notifications can be very distracting. Communication technology can even be addictive in some circumstances. Many people are tempted to continuously check their phone. It’s the first thing they do when they wake up and the last thing they do before they go to bed, oftentimes.
Although this wasn’t an intended consequence of communications technology, it can definitely lead to new forms of social inequality. For example, some, if not most, of communication technology is considered a privilege, not a right. Even though information is more easily accessible than ever, not everyone has access to a computer or smartphone.
In addition to that, not everyone has the same level of digital literacy. Some people are unfamiliar with the inner workings of the internet or other communication tools which can put them at a disadvantage, such as when applying for various jobs.
Just as communication technology can spread misinformation, it can also promote hate speech and discrimination, especially on social media. This leads to a greater divide amongst groups of people, which directly feeds into social inequities.
Algorithmic biases are also another consequence of this kind of technology that helps fuel inequality. A social media platform may promote one user over another, or boost the posts of someone over another person based on biases. This leads to echo chambers — a concept that leads to confirmation bias as it shows content that aligns with a person’s pre-existing views instead of all types of content.
It’s no wonder that communication technology trends are constantly changing as the tech itself evolves. The trends are endless, but there are a few in particular that have begun to grow in popularity.
One such trend, for example, is the use of AI in this type of tech. Machine learning (ML) has also grown extensively. Tools like ChatGPT and Bard are great examples of communication tech that falls into this trend.
As mentioned above, videoconferencing has exploded in popularity thanks in part to the recent pandemic. The concept of telepresence is such a significant trend that it’s touched multiple industries. Not only can people work from home when they need to, but they can also schedule telehealth appointments or even virtual social hours.
Mobile-first technology is yet another trend seen among communication technology tools. This has been a shift to devices like tablets and smartphones. In order to cater to the mobile-first shift, apps and websites are specially designed for mobile interfaces.
Communication technology isn’t new, but its uses, applications, popularity, and trends continue to evolve. Using technology like Yoodli, Zoom, or Gmail all improve efficient communication among others to foster connection and collaboration.
This kind of tech has a whole host of benefits and drawbacks alike, though new advantages and disadvantages continue to crop up every day.
Getting better at speaking is getting easier. Record or upload a speech and let our AI Speech Coach analyze your speaking and give you feedback.