Using Technology to Stay Connected

Perhaps technology is too general a term. The “internet” would be a more specific term. When the Internet was in its infancy, we could only read text in the form of static web pages or email. But that was a long time ago. The Internet rapidly maturing. There are a plethora of applications that are freely available for download. These applications allow internet users to connect with one another for free.

The birth of instant messengers and chat applications.

Those who have been surfing the Internet for the past decade or so will be familiar with instant messengers and chat applications. In the early days, the popular chat application was IRC (Internet Relayed Chat). To chat with others, we had to connect to a chat server, and join a “chat room”. Once there, we could either chat with everyone else, or click on a nick and start a personal chat. Chatting in this context simply means typing messages that are relayed to the server, which it turn appear on the other party’s screen. The process is almost instantaneous. It was a lot of fun to chat and make friends in IRC chat rooms.

Shortly after that, someone came up with the idea of instant chat, but without having to login to chat rooms. We saw the first instant messenger taking the world by storm – ICQ. In just a few short years, ICQ gained millions of users all over the world.

To use ICQ, you need to download a small application, which you will install onto your computer. Once installed, you will be able to add friends to your list. Of course, your friends will also need ICQ to be installed so that both of you can chat. Through this process, the popularity of ICQ continued to grow.

It wasn’t long before the big players wanted a piece of the action. Soon, we saw Microsoft, AOL, and Yahoo coming up with their own instant messengers. They all work in similar ways. Google is the newest player to launch an instant chat application – Google Talk.

Google Talk stands out among all the other chat applications because it is more lightweight, and being lightweight, it is extremely fast loading. Recently, this application was updated with voice and video. In the past, instant messengers have never tread into the domain of voice and video. Google Talk is not the first to offer this capability, but it is not late to the party either. Google Talk performs voice and video calls very well compared to the competition. This means that with the application, you can call anyone in the world for free. To do so, only your PC, an Internet connection, and a copy of Google Talk are required. Of course, the other party needs the same.

Instead of just using text to stay connected, you can now use text, voice, and video. Miss anyone recently? Perhaps Google Talk can help!