By Tara Lane, Staff Writer
The rise in digital media and technology has definitely given us many advantages over the last decade. Entrepreneurs can run an entire business using only a smartphone and a laptop. But is all of this change for the better? Do we lose something when things go digital? It can be easy to lose sight of our actions and relationships in the digital world if they’re not reinforced by physical actions. Often, we’re too focused on the digital side of something, and fail to see the effects and impact something has in the real world. To balance this out, we need to find the intersection between the two, and making things tangible, real again and making virtual reality back to reality.
Tweetups – Out of all of the people you follow on Twitter, and those that follow you, how many of them have you actually met in person? Chances are, there are very few. While Twitter has done a great job of helping us establish new connections with people from all over the world, these connections can be made even more powerful and effective when you’re able to converse in more than 140 characters, instead of talking face-to-face with someone else. Tweetups are a way people are making this happen. In any given city, someone can start a Tweetup, spreading the word about it and organizing all of the happenings using only Twitter. Tweetups provide a way to reinforce the relationships we make online by establishing a real, human connection.
Polaroid – Not everyone is transitioning to digital photography. In 2009, a massive campaign by Urban Outfitters, as well as an independent group The Impossible Project, successfully brought back the production of the classic Polaroid film. This group has proved that just because photos are going digital doesn’t mean everyone wants them to be that way, while at the same time proving the power of the crowd.
- While stocks have been unpredictable, the price of gold reached an all-time high of $1,200 per ounce in Dec. 2009.
- In a survey done by Rasmussen Reports, 81 percent of respondents said they prefer reading a book in a traditional printed format as opposed to a digital reading device.
- People who pay with cash spend about 20% less on average than those who use credit cards.
We cannot forecast that we’ll go completely digital anytime soon. There will always be resistance, and many times, it may be for the better. While there are has no doubt been improvements made in our lives because of new technologies, we may be losing those things that we hold closely, without even realizing it. Though a friendship can be maintained via the Internet, it will never be the same as seeing someone in person.
We often lose sense of what is real if we don’t encounter it very often. With nearly every retailer accepting credit and debit cards, the use of cash has declined significantly. We receive salaries through electronic transactions, never actually seeing the money or even a check – just a number representing our buying power – which can also lead to a false sense of financial security. By reintroducing these tangible things back into our lives, we are brought back to a reality that is often blurred by the virtual world.
- The use of cash will increase over credit cards, as consumers seek to rebuild the economy the right way
- Skype replaces landline phones for its video chat capabilities, which help us communicate on a more personal level.
- Defriending will occur on more sites when physical connection has not been restablished
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Image by Alan Schmidt from Stock.Xchng