That’s the phrase I woke up with.
Whhaat? Why? So after some coffee and AM focus, I dove in to investigate this phrase.
Digital. What does that mean? Go ahead, how would you define it? Ummm, having to do with digits???, the internet??? How are you doing? Easy? Challenging?
“Digital, in its broadest sense, is any piece of technology that connects people and machines with each other or with information.” According to Leighton.com/whatdoesdigitalreallymean
For us old timers, we first knew it as IT – “Information Technology”, and it was how documents, spreadsheets and databases created information through the use of hardware, software and their necessary methods.
The term digital has now superseded IT and includes the addition of social media, mobile and cloud services.
But why does this matter and why should you keep reading?
Because we are living in a digital world and it is changing rapidly. So fast, in fact, that we cannot keep up with it, nor can our legislation. It, this digital world, is at the forefront of our First Amendment rights and the loss of them.
From October 29, 1969, when the US Dept. of Defense’s ARPANET delivered it’s first message from UCLA to Sanford and crashed the ARPA network, the technology has grown to a rate of 11 new users per second, resulting in one million new users each day. (“wearesocial.com/2019-global-internet-use)
Of the 7.8 billion people in the world today, 4.388 billion are active internet users, representing 57% of the total population; the vast majority of those are mobile users, 3.986 billion or 52% of the total population.
The stats reveal that these users are spending on average 6 hours and 42 minutes online each day. That means we are connected to devices hundreds of times each day.
These are the places those 4.4 billion are visiting during those 6+ hours digitally connected.
Please notice those companies, especially the ones at the top.
Now, we realize that time spent on devices is not all play and scrolling. We are emailing, reporting, comparing, creating, ordering, communicating, you know, actually working. The lines between leisure and work however, are slowly slipping away, as we are responding to emails “off the clock” and checking Facebook while “on the clock”. Our devices and their APPS, all digital, are “making life easier”, so they say.
In whatever amount of time we are spending in the digital world, we are being bombarded with messages of all sorts. We know that our search history is collected and we are targeted by ads and other messages that “they” deem important.
I can’t for the life of me figure out why, on my Instagram feed, since the election, COVID19 warnings and messages have disappeared! Has the pandemic ended? Why is it no longer inserted after nearly every picture? (I jest, but seriously!) Is it no longer important?
But back to the title, Digital Dependence.
Whether we like it or not, we are dependent on our digital world. Banking, PC/laptop data, cloud storage, medical records, records of most kinds for that matter, travel, communications, etc. We are dependent.
So, the first action step for me is to do whatever I can, to cover my butt, in the event those digital connections are lost. I mean it, folks. In the world in which we live, you cannot discount that possibility. My husband speaks of “EMP’s”, but as we are seeing now, there are several more ways our digital world could be upset. So back up, keep hard copies, write things down, arrange for other means of taking care of your business and dealings. Seriously.
Second action step, we need to make any changes in our surfing habits that are necessary. Six plus hours a day for the average person, online???? Don’t tell me you don’t have time to pray, read the Bible, meditate, talk with your family, visit neighbors or call your father.
Third and last action step, beware of the messages that are bombarding you while in the digital world. I am so ticked at some of these that just keep showing up on my feed or in my stream. I don’t believe them, hate seeing them and can’t get rid of them. I refuse to allow them to cloud my thinking and will seek to keep my head above the foggy, rising waters that wants to overwhelm me. The best way to do that, I have found, is to get off the devices!
I am an optimist and I do walk by faith, but the digital dependence we have learned to lean on is teetering, and I feel in my spirit we must prepare, we must beware, we must wise up. Change is coming and we need to be ready for it. Forewarned is forearmed.
What do you think? Am I off base? Where are you on my three action steps in our digital dependence?
Cheers to you.