Many people have heard of the Industrial Age. A lot fo people may have heard of the Agrarian Age, but not a lot of people have heard of the Digital Age. It’s also often called the Information Age, and many believe it was established after the development of computers from the 1970s to the 1990s, and the years that followed. The Digital/Information Age is defined by the incredibly speed and ease with which data and information can be shared between people all over the world. The internet, networking and linked digital devices such as laptops and smartphones, all have a huge role in sharing information. For example a modern smartphone now contains access to the internet, word processing software, phone technology, emails, a camera, games and complex file sharing systems. This makes sending and receiving information very easy for everyone to do quickly.
There are three types of people living in the digital age. Digital Natives, Digital Settlers and Digital Immigrants.
Digital Natives: People born after 1980, when social digital technologies, such as usenet and bulletin board systems came online. They all have access to networked digital technologies, and they all have the skills to use those technologies.
Digital Settlers: People born before 1980 but who have embraced the digital age and have chosen to live a digital life.
Digital Immigrants: Born before the existence of digital, these people have adapted to one aspects of a digital life, either through choice or necessity.
With the Digital Age comes a lot of issues, mainly because it’s now so easy to access someone elses information. Social Networking websites such as Twitter, Facebook and MySpace can now provide complete strangers with all your personal information (If you wish to share it with them), and computer viruses can now steal all your personal information such as bank details, that are saved on your computer while being hidden away un-noticed.
“We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us” – Marshall McLuhan. This si a good description of the digital age. The internet is now a major part of everyday life, and some business cannot function at all without it. In a way we have become slaves to technology. But some things cannot be reproduced digitally. These things are Generative. Seeing a band live, seeing a priceless work of art in a gallery for example, they’re experiences that the digital world can’t provide.