Today, the development of modern information technologies and telecommunication systems leads to the fast progress of new devices and technologies that facilitate communication and expand the traditional scope of the communication. The progress of information technologies and telecommunication systems opens wider opportunities for communication, while virtual communication has already become a competitive type of communication, which challenges the conventional communication because more and more people prefer virtual communication and social networks are extremely popular today. In such a context, the role of digital communications can hardly be underestimated because digital communications become the main medium of the communication in the contemporary society. On the other hand, digital communications are different from the conventional, live communication, when people communicate face-to-face. The creation of virtual community with the help of digital communication technologies expand the scope of communication eliminating physical frontiers between people but, on the other hand, digital communication technologies change traditional social relations, make the communication of people more intensive for they can contact each other faster, regardless of distance, and, what is more, people can communicate with complete strangers using their digital devices and modern information technologies. As a result, the development of digital communications is quite controversial for, on the one hand, it expands the scope of communication, but, on the other hand, it changes the traditional communication and replaces partially the conventional communication as people spend more time in the virtual world.
In actuality, the development of digital communications is progressing fast and new technologies stimulate the appearance of new digital devices, which may be implemented successfully. In fact, the progress of digital communications is closely intertwined with the appearance of new digital devices, which facilitate the implementation of new technologies and allows people to use new technologies. For instance, today, cell phones comprise an integral part of the life of people but a couple of decades ago, this technology virtually did not exist and was just at the early stage of its development. Today, the development of information technologies and telecommunication systems is accompanied by the appearance of such devices as iPhone, iPad, iPod, netbooks, and other devices, which facilitate the communication between people and open wider opportunities for communication. The use of digital devices increases substantially. In this regard, it is possible to refer to the diagram 1, which shows the progress of digital devices sales from 1995 to 2010:
Diagram 1. Digital devices sales in 1995-2010.
In such a way, the introduction of digital communication technologies opens wider opportunities for communication. In this regard, it is worth mentioning the development of social networks as one of the mainstream trends in the development of the contemporary society and digital technologies. In such a way, social networks become new social communities, where people communicate with each other. However, virtual social networks are different from conventional social networks, which people form in the real life, when they communicate face-to-face. Nevertheless, social networks provide users with the possibility to communicate with each other regardless of the physical distance between them. They can share common interests or discuss common topics, even if they are located in different parts of the world. Therefore, digital technologies open new communication ways.
In addition, digital communication provides larger opportunities for data transmission compared to conventional technologies. For instance, digital technologies allow the transmission of the larger amount of data through digital devices or other devices as well. For instance, an iPod can store a large amount of information and users can play music longer than other devices, which use conventional but not digital technologies.
Furthermore, as it has been already mentioned above digital communications eliminate physical barriers and close the distance between people. Obviously, the elimination of physical barriers stimulate people to communicate with each other. They share information faster and they can learn about different cultures, norms and traditions, even without going out of their homes. Such cultural exchange is possible due to digital technologies and communications.
However, the development of digital communication technologies raises the problem of the increase of the virtual communication and replacement of conventional communication. What is meant here is the fact that digital communications are different from conventional ones. As it has been already mentioned above, people tend to use virtual communication more frequently today than they used to do in the past. Naturally, the virtual communication steadily takes more time than conventional, real life communication. As a result, people shift toward virtual communication. In this regard, it is important to place emphasis on the difference of the virtual communication compared to the real life communication. In fact, people communicating online do not always know each other. They may live in different of the world as well as in one and the same city but do not know each other in the real life. In such a context, the risk of online predatory arises (Pomeroy, 149). In this regard, children are particularly vulnerable to the risk of online predatory activities from the part of adults. Many people create false identity, as they communicate online. Therefore, digital communications allow people to live an alternative, virtual, imagined life, which may be totally different from the real life. Such a different life may be dangerous, if users are inclined to aggressive and offensive behavior or criminal activities.
In this regard, it is worth mentioning the fact that IT crimes, including identity thefts and others, which involve the use of digital technologies grow rapidly. The diagram 2 shows the progress of such crimes:
Diagram 2. Digital technologies-related crimes
The further progress of digital communication technologies raises the problem of the information security. What is meant here is the fact that people need to provide their private, personal information(Mica, 175). In such a way, people displace their private information and rely heavily on providers of services that their personal information will not be uncovered. However, often digital technologies and devices helps offenders to get access to the private information of users. Hence, digital communications have their dark side. To put it more precisely, users do not know whom they are communicating with using digital technologies but they have access to modern telecommunication systems and they use their digital devices to purchase products and services online, to communicate with other people, and conduct other activities that may expose them to the risk of identity theft, when their private information becomes available to other users of digital and online services (Coyle, 193). Consequently, on the one hand, digital devices and communications open the opportunity for the wider and more efficient communication, whereas, on the other hand, they expose users to the risk of identity theft, online predatory, and other negative and often illegal activities, which they cannot always defend themselves from. As a result, people should be aware of negative effects of extensive use of digital technologies.
Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that the progress of digital communications changes the communication and needs the adaptation of technologies to new needs of people. However, the progress of digital communications should also enhance security of users because the risk of online predatory and threats to information security can make the digital communications a tool of illegal and offensive activities. At the same time, it is worth mentioning the fact that the progress of digital technologies and communications is inevitable because digital technologies are closely integrated in the lfie of people today and they cannot imagine their life without using their digital devices. For instance, they can hardly live without their cell phones, because they feel limited in their communication or people cannot always refuse from using social networks. As a result, people are accustomed and dependent on digital technologies. However, they are often unaware of risks and threats associated with the use of digital technologies and digital communications. The use of digital devices and communications grows steadily as well as the number of crimes committed with the help of digital technologies. Consequently, digital communications and digital technologies need to enhance their security to prevent the risk of crimes and offenses of users and to maximize their benefits.
Mica, D. Why E-Commerce? Credit Union Magazine, vol. 65(11), 1999.
Boyle, M., William, J. The Emerging International Tax Environment For Electronic Commerce. Tax Management International Journal, vol. 28(6), 1999.
Coyle, T. Surveys and Trends. America’s Community Banker, vol.8(9), 1999.
Pomeroy, B. “Networking: There’s Still Cream in the Middle “Infomediaries” Find a Niche on the Net”. High Technology Careers Magazine, 02 March 2001.
Whitely, D. E-Commerce: Strategies, Technologies and Applications. 1st ed. Berkshire, England, McGrawl Hill International (UK) Limited, 2000.
Quinn, J., Hilmer B., and Frederic, G. Strategic Outsourcing. Sloan Management Review, Summer, 1994.