The asynchronous adjective qualifies that which does not have synchrony. This term (synchrony), on the other hand, refers to what coincides in time. There are, within this framework, various elements that are asynchronous.
It is called asynchronous communication to the communication process is carried out without coincidence. This means that the emission and reception of messages are separated by a certain period of time.
The postal correspondence is an example of asynchronous communication. The sender (who writes the letter and sends it) knows that your message will not be answered instantly. The receiver (the one who receives the letter), for his part, also understands that he will be able to access the content only when he physically receives the correspondence (which is the transmission channel of the message). A person can write a letter in Portugal and send it on January 5 from that country to Colombia. The recipient receives the letter on January 12 and reads the message on that date. This is how this asynchronous communication develops.
The display of an event on television can also be asynchronous when it is performed on a delayed basis. If a TV channel records the development of a concert that takes place on Saturday but broadcasts it the following Tuesday, there is an asynchrony. The performance of the concert (Saturday) does not coincide in time with its television exhibition (Tuesday). On the other hand, if the transmission had been carried out live and direct, the viewers would have had the possibility of observing the actions simultaneously to their real development.
It is very curious to note that, despite the need that human beings have developed in recent decades to obtain immediate responses and live at an unbridled rate, many of our activities are characterized by an asynchronous flow. Postal correspondence is an example that may seem from the past, but its digital version, the email service, is also asynchronous.
Due to the recently mentioned need to speed up communication, email has lost a lot of popularity, in favor of social networks and instant messaging services. Once again, none of them occurs in a truly immediate way, given that there are a large number of factors that entail a certain delay in communication, such as the instability of networks and the impossibility of carrying out all processes simultaneously..
Technically, chat is the maximum exponent of synchronous communication – the opposite of asynchronous – as it allows two or more individuals to have conversations with a fluidity comparable to what they might experience face to face. From a technical point of view, we cannot call it asynchronous because the most superficial tasks are carried out one after the other, regardless of the thousands of intermediate processes.
It is important to note that asynchronous processes do not always happen for the same reasons. On the one hand, there are those that cannot be carried out in any other way, such as postal correspondence: there is no means that allows us to send a letter physically from one point to another on the planet instantly. However, sometimes it is a decision that does not arise as a result of limitation, but as part of conscious design.
In programming, many challenges related to the performance of the processors arise, which generally force developers to prioritize certain processes or the immediacy with which they are carried out, and this results in the execution being synchronous. or asynchronous. Depending on the program, the user does not always perceive this difference since, from his point of view, everything happens at high speed.