When we take a moment and look back, it’s truly amazing how far humanity has come with the development of communication. I recently read an article written by Rob Reinalda that discusses the top 10 innovations we’ve seen thus far.
In his article, Reinalda takes us all the way back to a time when our ancestors simply acted things out to warn their family and other homo sapiens of any potential danger. He went on to discuss how this form of communication eventually went on to influence dance, ballet and short films.
It wasn’t long before homo sapiens began to realize that using a charred piece of wood, they could leave marks on a flat surface. This gave birth to the idea of pens, pencils, markers and other writing utensils we still use today – though these developments wouldn’t be invented for years to come.
Next, Reinalda discusses the beginnings of paper as people start to realize that communication is much easier when you are able to draw and write things down. This came with its challenges, however. As time went on, the need for an alphabet and organized symbols became evident and humanity saw the origins of some of the alphabets we use today.
Reinalda then tells us a little bit about some of the first pieces of communication that the world saw that was permanent – cave paintings. One advantage that these early drawings and pictures had over other early forms of communication is that because of their permanence, we’ve been able to learn an immense amount about early humans and what life may have been like for them.
The next major innovation that communication saw was the typewriter. According to Reinalda, the typewriter revolutionized the way people were able to put their thoughts to paper. He admits that many people still prefer pen and paper as it makes them feel more connected to their work, but it’s undeniable just how much more convenient this invention made writing documents in a timely manner.
Reinalda goes on to name the printing press, radio/television and the internet as some of his top few innovations to communication. However, according to him, the number one innovation to communication is the delete key. At first, this came with a bit of confusion, but as I read on, it all made sense. With communication, and more specifically writing, brevity typically makes everything better. The more concise you are the better off you’ll be.
To sum it all up, throughout time person to person communication has changed and evolved but some changes have been more influential than others. Read the article for yourself to find out more about why Rob Reinalda thinks each of these innovations had such a profound effect on communication.