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Staying Connected in the Past

By Camila De La Cruz

Communication hasn’t always been easy. In today’s world, it has never been easier to send a message to a friend. Pressing a “send” button to have your message delivered anywhere within seconds was like rocket science 100 years ago. But how did we get here?

In the ancient world, there were really only two ways to communicate. That was to say it verbally or write it down. That is if you knew how to write. But in many civilisations, only the wealthy were literate.

Many ancient civilizations invented their own writing systems that suited their unique languages.

It wasn’t until the 6th century CE when the Chinese invented printing that the practice of reading and writing became more common. The invention of printing the paved way the printing of newspapers. The invention of newspapers made the community more connected. Newspapers as one of the first types of public communication also meant the rise of the media. The first newspaper was printed in Germany which started in the late 1500s.

(An image of the “Johann Carolus”, an early German newspaper from the 1500s. Credits to

During these times, it would have taken weeks, maybe months to get your letter to its destination. Your letter would have been on quite a journey on a range of transport, which would have mainly consisted of horses. That all changed in the 1800s. On the 10th of March 1876, the very first phone call was held, between Scottish born Alexander Graham Bell and his assistant Thomas Watson. The very first words that was spoken in a telephone was “Mr Watson, come here. I want to see you”.

(An image of the first phone call in 1876, credits to

These famous words were only the start to a new connected world. After that, long distant calls become common very quickly. The 1900s was when Bell’s invention came into action. Telephone calls were common during World War 1. The US military made landlines that were thousands of miles long. It wasn’t long before then invention of cell phones in the 1970s

Today there are over 5 billion cell phones in the world, more than one for every two people. Nowadays, communication has never been easier. With the creation of the internet, we are able to stay connected with our friends, family and people all over the world. That is definitely something to be grateful for.


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