In 1900, communicating was simple. You could talk to somebody. You could write a letter. You could read ink, printed on paper. That was it, really. If you owned a telephone, you were the 1%.
In 1950, four in ten households owned a telephone or radio. Otherwise, the instruments of making and consuming information hadn't much changed. Talking to people and reading pages made up almost all of the rest of the typical family's communications diet. If you owned a television, you were the 9%.
In 2012, we've lived through a Cambrian explosion of communications technology. If you want to make or consume information, you can do it on Facebook, on Tumblr, on Twitter, on Pinterest, on Foursquare, in texts, on mobile phones, on land-line phones, on VOIP phones, on TV, on iPads, with head phones, with speakers, on the radio, in print, in the mail, and -- especially in the case of a Gchat and Twitter black out -- you are still permitted to speak into a real-live human's face, directly.
The graph at the top of this post, from a McKinsey Global Institute paper on social networks, is a 110-year history of talking, watching, reading, and writing. It's a fun graph to sort of gaze into and take in, but here are three things I found particularly interesting: