To be or not to be, digital that is

The Digital AgeWe’re at the dawn of a new age. Just like our parents and grandparents were at the dawn of the nuclear age, we are at the dawn of the digital age. Those who don’t get on the bandwagon will be left behind. By not embracing the digital age, non-adapters will lose the benefits that it provides to its users.

Initially, the digital age burst on the scene with uses in the business world. I spent 40 years in the graphic arts industry and I experienced it first hand. In 1970 when I started in the industry all printing was done using film that was shot from artboards in large cameras.

In the 1980s we saw that evolve to art being scanned. Scanners cost tons of money but eliminated costly labor. By the 1990s the industry had made another leap with the use of computer-generated art. Where we once carried pounds of art in large carry cases through airports. One of my printers left the art package on a plane. We went to Milwaukee, the art went to Atlanta. It was returned to us the next morning.

We now carried all of the art on a disk. You could put it in your pocket. The reason: everything had been reduced to digital files. No more subjective judgments, everything was set to print on that disk. The next step was the transfer of images direct from the computer to the printing plate.

The graphic arts industry was just one industry that led the way. Big business will always find a way to cut out cost. The digital age has allowed them to spend less on routine tasks and more on the important parts of their businesses. Its the difference between spending your day working on your business rather than working at it. Seems simple but we still not there yet.

The digital age has begun to affect us in our everyday tasks. People now can do all of their banking tasks on their computers, laptops, tablets and even their phones. Move money, pay bills, check your balance; it’s all available to consumers. No more guessing about checks in the mail. Now, you can simply pay your bill on the day that it is due. No more late fees.

Every day there are new and cheaper alternatives available to consumers. My wife, never a techie, has traded in her conventional laptop for Chromebook. All of her files are in a secure place in the cloud. She can work on her Chromebook at home and bring up the same files on her desktop at school. It’s all about convenience, security and ease.

Our television programming comes to us digitally. Our computers are the preeminent user of digitization. Information flows around the world digitally.

The digital world is here for everyone to take advantage of it. But ignore it at your peril because it isn’t going away. While you’re still balancing your checkbook manually, I just check my balance on my computer or phone and then go out and enjoy myself.

 

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