Communications Technology: Wi-Fi
What is the 21st century without Wi-Fi or Internet connection? Almost everywhere we go, there is always a source of Wi-Fi available. We always see people with their eyes glued to their electronic devices, either playing games, going on social medias, browsing, doing their homework, etc. These activities definitely will not be possible without Internet connection or Wi-Fi. Basically every person who has access to Wi-Fi would use it for any purpose. Toddlers nowadays are able to use applications that require Wi-Fi without even having to be guided by their parents. So what actually is Wi-Fi and how many impacts has it made in the world we live in today?
According to Brain, Wilson, and Johnson, Wi-Fi is a wireless network that uses radio waves, just like cell phones, televisions and radios do. The difference between the radio waves of Wi-Fi and other devices is that Wi-Fi transmits and receives data in a Gigahertz range, while the others receive or transmit data in the Kilohertz or Megahertz range. These radio waves enable devices to have network connectivity. Wi-Fi is actually an abbreviation, but people are not exactly sure of what it stands for. The most general abbreviation of it is usually wireless networking or wireless fidelity. As almost everyone knows now, Wi-Fi has been widespread all around the world in different places such as people’s homes, malls, cafes, airports, and more public places. It’s because there aren’t any extension cables required to connect people’s devices to the Internet, rather just choosing a Wi-Fi network on your device immediately, making it more convenient.
As mentioned before, Wi-Fi is basically everywhere and it is practically considered a necessity for humans living in the 21st century. So it is important for people to know at least the basics of how Wi-Fi works. Wi-Fi, as mentioned before, emits radio waves to transmit the information within a network. For the electronic device to be able to receive and translate the data into a radio signal, it first has to pass through a wireless adapter that is inserted in the device. When the data has been translated, it will then be transmitted using an antenna to a router. When it receives the signal, it will decode it and the router will send the information to the Internet through an Ethernet connection. It is also possible for this process to be reversed backwards.
If there was no Wi-Fi in the world we live in today, it would be quite chaotic because people don’t only need Wi-Fi for leisure, but also work and school-related tasks. Without it, research cannot be conducted and people would get little to no knowledge because of the very limited resources for research. Also, Wi-Fi supports the usage of free and quick communication via E-mail and social medias. People can receive messages quickly and don’t have to use the old version of communication. This is important because news can also spread quickly and people can know what is happening around the world in a more convenient and faster manner. Without Wi-Fi, people couldn’t be as updated and communicate as quickly. Even though Wi-Fi plays a very vital role in the society we live in today, there are some limitations from it that can affect people in a bad way. First of all, Wi-Fi supports the free use of the Internet. Some contents in the Internet should actually be forbidden
to post because of the explicit and mature content, which isn’t suitable for all age groups. Even though this problem has been solved by people who are aware of it by blocking access to the inappropriate sites, a lot of people are still not aware if there is mature content and might be unsuitable and harm the people viewing it. Also, people might be too addicted to their electronic devices because Wi-Fi can provide their basic necessities and they would not need anything else to satisfy them. In other words, Wi-Fi can trigger the addiction to electronic devices and certain applications. Too much viewing electronic devices can cause damage to the eyes and might cause skin cancer due to the radiation that is being shown off from the device.
A major factor that affects Wi-Fi and how it works is the weather. As some people might experience, Wi-Fi is usually slower when the weather is damp or rainy. This is because the dampness of the air slows down the speed of the signals and information that are being transmitted and received. Another factor that affects how Wi-Fi works is its frequencies. The slowest and most inexpensive standard is the 802.11b. It transmits data at a frequency level of 2.4GHz and it can only transmit up to 11 megabits per second. The newest and fastest standard is the 802.11ac. It is being used by a lot of people because it can transmit up to 450 megabits per second and can’t be easily affected by disturbances. It is also often mentioned as 5G Wi-Fi.
As explained above, Wi-Fi has impacted society in a lot of ways. It basically means that Wi-Fi affects a lot of social factors as compared to other factors. One of its
effects is that it can help people perform their daily tasks and get their work done. For example, students can’t complete their work without using Wi-Fi because they need to do a lot of research. Adults also will not be able to complete their daily tasks without Wi-Fi because first of all, they need the Internet to be updated on what’s happening in the world and also in their jobs, such as the stock markets, political events, etc. Wi-Fi has also helped society gain more knowledge in a more efficient and faster way because of the sites that have been posted on the Internet and can be easily accessed. Without the help from Wi-Fi, the Internet would be inaccessible and people would not be able to conduct researches and jobs that they need in their daily lives.
Wi-Fi would always become an important aspect in the lives of people who live in the 21st century and onwards. It has been a big step forward in technology and it would continue to evolve as time passes. The current world without Wi-Fi would be unimaginable because it has provided society with such resources that can be taken advantage from and would always be helpful for people who are willing to learn more.