Saturday, August 25, 2007

Living in a digital world

Ofcom have released their latest annual report into 2007 media usage in the UK. The report reveals that older media such as TV and radio are being abandoned in favour of new technology such as the internet, DVR players and MP3 players. Daily mobile phone usage is up 58% compared to 2002 and internet use has grown 158%. In 2007, people spend less time watching TV or chatting on a fixed line phone. Women are spending more time online than men in two key age groups and so called "silver surfers" - the over-65s - are spending more time online than any other age group.

How has the digital age changed my life? My God, in countless ways:
  • I'm less frustrated now when making arrangements to meet people
  • I have the flexibility to work from home if I need to
  • I have information at my fingertips
  • I can multi-task better and get more done - I am convinced I am making better use of my synapse connections now!
  • I save money by buying or comparing prices online
  • I keep in better touch with my parents and also my family in India
  • Convergence is the greatest concept ever - to make calls, take photos, listen to music, play games, write notes and surf the internet all on a single mobile phone is heaven itself
  • I choose what to watch or listen to when I want - allowing me to live my life off line to its fullest.
  • I have a whole new career!
  • Digital media is perfect for my short attention span. I thrive on flitting around from one thing to another and new technology facilitates this
  • I can still switch it all off whenever I need to
There are still things that annoy me about the digital age, but largely it's to do with the personalities of the people who use the technology rather than the technology itself. For example:
  • I'm constantly amazed at the rudeness of people who text or email during meetings
  • I have no patience for those who use txt-spk in emails or letters
  • I worry about children who spend more time consuming media than creating it
  • I wonder whether I would read or write or generally create more if I didn't have the internet
  • When I read a regular newspaper or was limited to just five TV channels, I suspect I was exposed to a wider variety of information. My digital life is far more targetted and I know I stumble across less as a result
This interesting report is available to download from Ofcom.


Olivia said...

I enjoy all the information at my fingertips. In the past you might say, "I wonder why/what/where/how..." and now, within seconds of asking that question you can now find out!

On the other hand, I have found that because of the superabundance of information, I now retain less than I used to.

This is partly because it is more natural for us humans to read paper than a screen and psychological studies have proven that people don't usually retain what they read onscreen. I would also imagine there is less in-depth reading. It's hard to stare at a screen for long, or re-read paragraphs, or peruse as you do on paper....know what I mean?

Planethalder said...

Hi Olivia, Staring at a screen is indeed not conducive to retention or eye health. I often print out things I need to focus on. I even print out emails I need to action. Not very good for the environment but I try and recycle them when I'm done.