ESSAY QUESTION: An author once wrote that “The invention of the telephone prevents us from appreciating the distance between us.” Today this is even more true as the rise of the Internet has enabled inexpensive global communication.
Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the position stated above. Support your viewpoint using reasons and examples from your own experience, observations, or reading.
Many people think that the invention of telephone and rise of internet prevents us from appreciating the distance between ourselves. Others believe that these breakthroughs in communication technology have not had the aforementioned effect. This issue is a controversial one but a closer examination reveals that the inexpensive means of global communication have indeed brought us closer and dulled the perception of distances between us.
One illustration of this fact is the revolution in global news. Today, we are no longer content to know what is happening in our particular city, region or even country. We want to be able to know anything that happens, in any part of the world, as soon as it happens. It is the advent of communication tools such as telephone, and more recently internet, that has made this possible. For example, the recent wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton was followed and viewed online by many, making it the sixth most followed internet event in history. People reveled in the events in London, irrespective of their location on the globe.
Another example can be seen from the increasingly globalized world economy. People located at various locations come together to work as a single team, forgetting completely the distances separating them. For example a person from USA can lead a team of an Indian engineer and a German scientist to build a product in China. Through the tools of collaboration made available to us we can forget that we are actually located on different continents.
Perhaps the best example I can give is that of myself. I am an Indian engineer located in Paris who is supposed to provide support to a tool that can be used in regions as disparate as the jungles of Amazon in Brazil or the deserts of Saudi Arabia. The people looking for support do not see any distance between themselves and me, and with videoconferencing facilities, I can aid them as if I was standing in the room with them. Moreover, I can talk to my parents in India via Skype as if I was in the living room with them, or watch a football match in Old Trafford, as if I was in the stadium of Manchester United.
In summary, while there are arguments to be made for both sides, there are more examples in today’s world such as businesses run across continents, news spreading like wildfire etc. to showcase that the telephone and internet have really nullified the distances between us.