Was 17th Century Communication Simpler?

Recently my husband and I spent a well planned and organized long weekend visiting a beautiful area in the UK called Hertfordshire.  As we were travelling to our hotel, an old manor house built in 1625, we also visited as many English Heritage locations as we could fit in.  If you are not familiar with English Heritage in the United Kingdom, it is an organization that relies on funds from government departments, fundraising, donations and lottery funds to complete its mission to preserve, restore and protect the UK’s historic treasures.

As we were visiting our first Manor home and we were hearing the story of the generations of families that lived within this home, there was often mentioned the means of communications through letters and it struck me – the form of communication that they needed to rely on is so different from what we rely on todayI know this seems very obvious, but I think that back in the 17th century, they embraced a much simpler way of communication – one that required patience. 

In the 17th century and before, instructions, gossip, news, details and even conspiracy theories were hand-written with beautiful scrolling penmanship, and then were sent off to be delivered by numerous methods of transportation. It could, and often did, take weeks to get the information to the person it was intended, and then of course, would take weeks for the response to get back to the other end.   This continued blissfully for centuries until TECHNOLOGY was introduced and used – electric Telegraph, telephone, photo phone, radio, television, videophone, fiber optical telecommunications, computer networking and BOOM – here we are. 

This is the most simplistic way of looking at the timeline – but the final conclusion that I came to was, today we live with a desperate rate of speed for communication - information is catapulted in front of us.  It is unfathomable to consider the speed at which we can find and share content, communicate a message (albeit sometimes in 140 characters), find an answer to a burning question, and become educated.  The most common way of thinking about it is like “drinking from a fire hose”. However information is what we desire – we want to have all of those things delivered to us in a way that they can be easily consumed and adequately processed.  But what about the “stuff” that also happens to be communicated at the same time? Stuff that clogs the channels of valuable information; stuff that confuses the accurate information; stuff that distracts us and we need to cut through that to make sense of it.

That is why we have access to software technology to deal with all of that.  To take that fire hose of information drenching us through our online lives, and decipher what is valuable for our own online communications and outreach, and support us with trends, lists of influencers and influential content and then how to build a strong network with them.  There are a number of software tools that now help with all kinds of monitoring and analysis and that in itself can be overwhelming, but luckily for those interested in the Human Capital Marketplace, there is only one exclusively for our space, monitoring and analyzing our space, and will provide focused, targeted and timely intelligence to give you that advantage to be “in the know” - SocialEars HR. It takes the fire hose down to a refreshing water fountain of targeted information relevant to me.


Whew – that makes me feel so much better.

Post written by HRmarketer / SocialEars team member Rita Jackson.

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