The Way We Have Been Communicating Through the Ages

by Julie Salgo

Thousands of years ago, prehistoric people found ways to communicate before they could talk to each other by making all sorts of noises. Sometime later, an open-air fire was the focal point for any social activities and communication. More advancements happened when people created drawings on cave walls, leaving messages this way for others. Egyptian hieroglyphs (symbols) were invented for formal writing systems. Indians used smoke signals that warned people in the distance of danger. Pigeons were trained to carry handwritten letters.

The invention of printing in 1450 created a major leap in communication, resulting in books, newspapers, and snail mail. Since 1844, the International Morse codes and telegraphs were used for quick long-distance communications.

Getting closer and closer to familiar and recent tools, telephones, radios, TVs, cameras, movie projectors, and computers entered our everyday lives. Blackboards and whiteboards were used for children and adults alike in the education system. I loved to use overhead projectors, flipcharts, and later PowerPoints for my presentations and training classes.

Nowadays, we use Zoom and Hybrid meetings. I recently discovered that by 2024, there will be around 116 Social Media sites available to us. Today’s generation uses a separate vocabulary with acronyms and slang abbreviations. Are we going back to communicating with symbols, emojis, and codes?

The following information shocked me from watching the CBS Sunday Morning show “Hello Vincent”: Artificial intelligence brings Van Gogh to life. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHfAxuEvLUU. Anyone can ask the famous painter who died in 1890 a question, and he will answer. What else will AI bring to our future interactions? The father of Toastmasters, Ralph C. Smedley, would not want to ignore technology, but I believe he would be sad if Toastmasters meetings were replaced by artificial conversations.

Let’s enjoy our Toastmasters meetings in the current formats as long as we can. Let’s continue our challenges to improve our verbal communication skills while enjoying each other’s company in a highly motivating atmosphere.

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