Imagine what it must have been like living in a time when the only way to send a message or communicate a written thought via hardcopy form over any considerable distance was by way of some type of physical delivery or courier service. Tough to imagine.
Enter: the telegraph
Some, not content with that method alone, took it upon themselves to try to find a means to transmit information electronically (by wire, literally) or, in other words, coming up with a way to communicate sans having to put into hardcopy form a written message, thereby eliminating the need to forward such to the designated receiving party via physical, courier service means. The telegraph, in the figurative sense, “answered the call.”
Where this method of communication got started was back in 1832 with Samuel Morse and the Morse Code – a communications system that made use of a language comprised of dots and dashes – the software, if you will. The technology – the hardware – with the capability to transmit the intended communication of the day was in the form of the electromagnetic telegraph and to which a patent was issued in 1847. It was the telegraph, in fact, that revolutionized communication and the rest is – as is so often heard – history.
By the mid-1970s, the personal computer not quite having come into vogue – even though there were some computers available then for personal use – by that time, any communication that required being sent over considerable distances was done either via courier or electronically via telephone and teletype. Telegraph by this time was pretty much phased out.
Fast-forward about 15, 20 years and lo and behold introduction of the World Wide Web. Such made transference of electronic data anywhere in the world a virtual breeze. When you think about it the Internet opened up a whole different dimension when it comes to the exchange of information and how this is achieved. Such things as texting and email (short for “electronic mail”) and whichever other ways there are to send information in this digital age, is nothing short of extraordinary.
Unintended side benefit
So, imagine if the technological capability along these lines had not come about. Now, considering the magnitude of the exchange of information taking place digitally or electronically being massive, think if today’s information exchange was done the old-fashioned way thus requiring physical delivery of such using conventional means – by internal-combustion-engine-powered motor vehicle – and what associated negative environmental impact this would have.
Now, add to this the processes involved in the manufacture of extra paper – made from recycled paper stock or otherwise – needed to meet the additional need and then factor in the transportation involved regarding such and what impact this would have on the environment. All things considered, such would be considerable.
When all is said and done, there is more to living life in the digital age than what meets the eye and ear. There is the unintended side benefit of what meets the lungs: in this case, cleaner air.
That’s what I’m talking about.
– Alan Kandel