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The Information Age



The information Age consists of key components which include the advancement of technology. This e-book has been designed to demonstrate life in the information age, the following pages will go through, in further details, what life was like during the 21st century. I will discuss the capabilities of the Internet and the limitations and the effect ICT had on the lives of people, i will also be discussing the digital divide between people who use the internet and people who do not, i will discuss in further details the causes of the digital divide.

"The Information Age is the period beginning around 1970 and noted for the abundant publication, consumption, and manipulation of information, especially by computers and computer networks."

The Information Age Home

Online Services

Digital Divide


There has been a massive progress in communication thanks to the advances in the Information age, in the past if a person wanted to talk to other people they either had to physically meet and talk or through a telephone. Now it’s much easier thanks to numerous new ways of communication such as texting or emails. Now people far away can talk to each other with ease and there’s no physical barriers to meeting new people or doing business with people or companies from the other side of the world. Due to the nature of online messaging being instant


Electronic mail, which today is mostly referred to as the abbreviation of email, is used by the majority of people. It is used in the essence of communication as either for work related purposes or socialising, however the email system not only has the ability of sending written messages across promptly it is also used as a record keeping and tracking important information as a contact alternative.

The email is a system sending information electronically via computer in order to get a message or important information across to another person – telecommunications (links between computers).

The usage of the email service makes life easier according to some as it firstly is not time consuming as the writing is all done electronically and doesn’t require having to go to a printer and then putting the message in an envelope and then taking it to a post office or post-box it is done via email server from the senders computer through the senders email server which forwards the message to the recipients email server and stores it in the inbox where the message can be retrieved later on and then for the recipient to view the message on their computer by simply downloading the message from his server to the computer.

There are many email services available, the most common services that are used to date are:

· Yahoo

· G-mail

· Hotmail

· School email

Non internet alternatives

Non internet alternatives of sending emails include the historic method of writing letters, this is still a very popular method that some companies, corporations and the general public use in order to keep in contact with people they know or for companies their consumers and partners.

Telecommunication is also another way to communicate this is the communication that includes verbal communication via another electronic device designed to pass on information using the human voice directly as if they were right next to you. This is also a renowned efficient way of communicating that is also very popular as it is firstly again not time consuming and does the job of communicating proficiently

Another process of communicating is the usage of non-internet messaging also known as text messaging, using a mobile which does not require an individual to use the internet to type a message and send it to the recipient via a mobile contact number with contains numerical digits.

Target audience:

The email service is used by any types of people so t doesn’t have a specific target audience whereas it is more of a service made available to those who require it or wish to use it, the following people however can be categorised to how they use this service:


Students use the email service in order to keep in contact with other peers and tutors in regards to school work and if they need to obtain any information about their school life, most schools run their own email service and the government enables them to do so. Each student and member of the school is allocated with a login and username in order to access this service and keep in contact with each other.


Teachers use this service to keep in contact with colleagues and fellow employees they may discuss their student’s progress or use attachments to send each other important information and other documents that they require that is in relation to their career life. The email service is also important to teachers as important dates and key events are also posted to them via a memo.

General public

The general public use the emailing system to keep in touch socially with friends, family and loved ones that they wish to communicate with frequently and keep in touch. This may be because they live on the other side of the world and a writing a letter may take a couple of weeks to get to them so an email is a quick and very easy method that they have adapted.

Working population

Employers, Employees and people who have careers like to use this service to keep in touch with clients and other individuals who are important to their work related livelihoods. This can be important to companies who run businesses and like to send out information to their buyers and choose to do this via an email where they can send them information of upcoming sales or events or key information in order to boost their businesses or things that will affect the consumers such as upgraded policies that they need to be aware of.

Advantages of the email service:

-The email service is a very easy service to use which require very little training or learning how to send an email as it is very self-explanatory and the layout of the service is understandable.

-It is available to use wherever you are so long as you have connection to the internet you are able to send emails wherever and whenever you wish to do so

-Emails are free to send therefore they are a cheaper alternative to writing letters and paying for post and they don’t require paper therefore cutting down the amount of tree’s being used as no paper is needed and this also contributes to the cut down of your carbon footprint and results in this method being environmentally friendly.

-It is possible to send attachments within an email this again saves time as you have the ability to attach as many documents in inadequate time.

-The time taken to receive is almost instantly so long as you have an internet connection this makes the service more demanding as people would want their way of communicating fast and instantly and the email proves to do this.

Disadvantages of the email service:

-When sending emails to more than one recipient the internet connection can slow down this causes delays and at times causes lots of problems as the server cannot send the emails instantly.

-The email inbox of the user can get flooded and this can cause problems as the user will have to clear out the inbox in order to start receiving emails again instantly , this can be seen as a disadvantage as the user can get annoyed and not be pleased with this service.

-When wanting to send an email both the recipient and yourself must have an email address in order to communicate with each other , you will also require a device that has connection to the internet such as a computer, laptop, mobile ipad etc.

-Some people change their email addresses fairly often as they switch ISPs or jobs this means that you may lose contact with someone due to their email address changing.

-Spam is also another big disadvantage, as statistic show up to two thirds of mail are spam this can again be annoying for the user as they have to filter through all the emails in order to find the ones that they feel are more relevant and important.

-Some emails also carry viruses that can have an effect or harm your device, some of these viruses also have the ability to read through your emails and forward them throughout your contact list and expand and cause problems and also at times see information that you have concealed

Enhancements to the E-mail service:

The process of having to attach a file can be time consuming as the sender would have to look through his whole computer in order to attach the file, the email service should provide an efficient and instant way in order to send an attachment like a click and drop service this would save a lot of time and enable them to send the email more efficiently.

An anti virus service should also be made available this should include for the service to detect and incinerate interfering bugs and viruses that have been attached in to the email and causing problems for people.

Anti scamming should also be made available to people this should help their inbox being clogged up with any unwanted emails and spam mail that they do not wish to read or receive.

Fitness for purpose:

The email service is effective as in does its job of communicating however it flaws in many techniques such as an individual has to be familiar with the way it runs and that the service works and this can result in it being time consuming, some may also argue that the benefits however can counter argue the drawbacks as it is a fast technique of communication and they are able to communicate with people across the world on a daily basis via just internet connection.

Online conferences

Online conferencing is the method in which a meeting or conference or training is done online virally without the use of travelling and transportation, it is another term given to viral meetings between individuals they often include key features such as:

• online polls

• instant messaging

• collaborative document editing

• personal and shared calendars

• and much more

Non internet alternatives:

Boardroom meetings in person with members of your team in order to discuss and address to things that may have happened or general meetings in order to find out if everything is going fine between employees. Over the telephone conversations are another way of communicating with members within your team this is a time saving and efficient way to deal with problems or things that have come across as urgent and need dealing and attention towards. Orientation meetings include the visit of individuals whom work for your Corporation, Company or business but in other parts of the world, to discuss the company’s progress or downfalls and come up with new techniques and theories in order to get the best out of the situation and overcome problems that have or may occur in the time forthcoming.

Target audience:

Online conferencing is mainly targeted at businesses, corporations and companies who have headquarters across the world; this is mainly in order to save costs and reduce spending on travel when they are able to use the internet and different programmes and services that allow them to contact with each other. However it is made available for anyone to use it who wants to adapt this method of fast communication.

Target audience

Online conferencing is mainly targeted at businesses, corporations and companies who have headquarters across the world; this is mainly in order to save costs and reduce spending on travel when they are able to use the internet and different programmes and services that allow them to contact with each other. However it is made available for anyone to use it who wants to adapt this method of fast communication.

Benefits of the service:

Eco friendly – doesn’t require for any use of transport so would reduce carbon footprint.

Able to communicate without having to travel places with would take up time and petrol costs.

Time saving as the service just requires and internet connection and for you to log in and begin your conference

Location is not an issue as it would be able to conference anywhere that has an internet connection.


Some services only allow paired conferencing this could be an issue for multinational.

Internet connection could be a problem and affect the conference in many ways.

May be too technical to use and require lessons in which some people see as time consuming and pointless.

May require upgrading the software which again could result in too time consuming and someone who does not have the knowledge to upgrade would find it difficult.

Possible enhancements to the service

The service should be upgraded in order to allow many people to be included with the conferencing rather than allowing it to be restricted to just paired conferencing; this would make life easier especially for those companies or corporation who have headquarters based across the world.

Fitness for purpose

It does its job of allowing people to communicate without the usage of transport or travelling for whatever reason, be it training purposes or meetings.

Social Networking

Twitter is mainly used to let people know of what you are up to, it is also a site where you are able to follow icons and celebrities and see what they are up to in their daily lives. Other tweeters are able to register and follow you; this means that they are immediately notified of your updates and your tweets. Twitter also has a private messaging option where it allows you to talk with a follower of yours without it being posted onto your timeline, this is known as direct messaging but in order to do this both of the tweeters must be following each other.

Face book is ranked as the most popular social networking site which enables a person to add others that they know or want to know as friends and see what they update on to their timelines .Face book enables a person to post pictures, videos, texts and much more for others to see however unlike twitter, Face book does not have a word count so your post/ piece of text can contain as many words and letters you wish for it to have. It too also has a messaging service where you can message an individual privately.

MySpace is another social networking site that allows users to create WebPages to interact with other users. They are able to create blogs, upload videos and photos and design profiles in order to show their talents and interests. MySpace has also has privacy settings to allow users to choose whom they wish for their account to be viewed by.

Google+ is described as an advanced social networking site as it has incorporated many features that have been made available to its users such as Google circles, this enables you to talk with a number f people at the same time together, Google hangouts is also amongst the admired feature of goggle plus it allows you to have up to 9 people chatting or video chatting at once, you’re also able to share YouTube video, create art, play games or collaborate on a Google doc project. It also includes WebPages for business that they can attach to their accounts and this enables them to boost their business through advertising. is another social networking site that enables users to ask and answer questions that have been posted to them or they have posted, it also allows a user to remain unknown, this is the option of anonymity.

Non internet alternatives

Meeting with people that you often like to keep in contact with and talking to them face to face and going out to socialise this could include going out to watch a movie at the local cinema or going out for a meal.

Also joining local clubs and schemes this allows you to socialise and meet new people but at the same time engage in activities that have been set or you have joined.

Target audience

Social networks are targeted at anyone who has an interest in meeting new people or sharing pictures, videos and pieces and text with people over the internet. It is also used to meet new people whom you did not know before or people and/or family members that live across the world.

Advantages of social networking sites:

Facilitates open communication, leading to enhanced information discovery and delivery, allows people to be aware of their surrounding or what their family and friends are up to.

Allows employees to discuss ideas, post news, ask questions and share links this is mainly used as a place of discussion where the users are able to input their opinions and ideas.

Expands market research, implements marketing campaigns, delivers communications and directs interested people to specific web sites, this help to categorize individuals into groups and only show what they would be interested in.

Improves business reputation and client base with minimal use of advertising, it is a cheap alternative as a advertising campaign as it is, most of the time, free of charge and allows users to see what you have to offer ensuring a higher rise in sales and advertising .

Disadvantages of social networking sites:

Opens up the possibility for hackers to commit fraud and launch spam and virus attacks, this is a criminal offence that will result in livelihoods being affected and put others’ lives at danger by being a victim of a criminal offence.

Increases the risk of people falling prey to online scams that seem genuine, resulting in data or identity theft, this can have a psychological effect on individuals as their identity is being stolen and used for other purposes that may be morally wrong and predominantly result in innocent people being convicted.

Potentially results in lost productivity, especially if employees are busy updating profiles this can be seen as a very time consuming process that will lose the company valuable time etc.

Potentially results in negative comments from employees about the company or potential legal consequences if employees use these sites to view objectionable, illicit or offensive material.

Possible enhancements to the service

People should be able to have access to an anti-hacking service which will enable their accounts not to be hacked and also conceal information and private details etc. that they do not want for others to know.

More privacy updates should be available for people to incorporate into their accounts in order to remain hidden and not be available for all other users to see.

Fitness for purpose

The social networking sites such as Messenger, Facebook, Instagram etc. allows you to keep in contact with others as well as be interactive with each other by putting up statements and allowing you to comment on others timelines also you are able to post on videos and pictures.


Freelance Writer

I’m a freelance writer with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Boston University. My work has been featured in publications like the L.A. Times, U.S. News and World Report, Farther Finance, Teen Vogue, Grammarly, The Startup, Mashable, Insider, Forbes, Writer (formerly Qordoba), MarketWatch, CNBC, and USA Today, among others.