29 January 2020

Are you a ‘Digital Native’? Ever heard of the term? It describes those who have only ever known the world with the internet.

Now, there may be an argument by some who lived before the internet that Digital Natives don’t know how good they’ve got it. How could they know the benefits of our digital world if they’ve never experienced life before it?

There’s some logic to this view but I think it deserves some push back. Our world is changing at such a rapid rate due to digital technology. Because we witness the next technological innovation with increasingly regularity, we are frequently bombarded with the benefits these innovations provide. So what are the benefits of our digital world?

Well there’s plenty but here’s some to get us started:

CONNECTIVITY

Through digital technology we can connect real-time with friends and family anywhere in the world. We can also connect with those who were previously out of reach, such as celebrities or politicians. Many would argue this ensures we are closer to each other than ever before.

EDUCATION

The internet provides us with instant access to much of the world’s knowledge base through online libraries, articles, courses and 24/7 news reporting. It also provides GPS and mapping services that can pinpoint exactly where we need to go and exactly where we are.

OPPORTUNITY

Digital technology has dramatically changed how we work and learn, providing opportunities to be based overseas or at home. Digital technology has also given the general public a platform to create and distribute videos and music or even raise awareness of social and political issues. Opportunities that were once only available to paid professionals are opening up to the rest of society.

ENTERTAINMENT

Digital technology has offered access to vast libraries of e-books, games, podcasts, music, film and television shows which, through various devices, can be viewed almost anywhere at any time. Other hobbies and interests can also be explored with greater ease – whether it being cooking, gardening, playing a musical instrument, you name it! Our digital world has enabled mass entertainment in an unprecedented way.

It’s clear we’re just scratching the surface here with the benefits of digital technology. Unfortunately, however, digital technology brings with it various challenges that we can’t ignore. Next week we’ll be considering these challenges to further understand our digital world.