Are you an analog or a digital person?

Digital time versus Analog time. Have you ever thought that the world could be divided into two kinds of information? Analog is where the information is a continuous flow. Examples are the old 33 1/3 LP records. Watches with a sweep hand are another example of analog time. Now we have digital CD’s and DVD’s which are numerically encoded. Watches with a sweep and hour hand are more of a fashion item today and many of us wear digital watches. Even digital watches are being replaced by those who use cell phones for their time needs. Movies are now becoming digitized where they had been primarily analog. The new 3D movies use digitization methods for their effects. Of course, computers are the essence of digitization. Everything we do with our computers is based on bytes and bits.

Digitization is remaking our world. While analog signals once ruled the information world, today we are living in a digital world where information flow is ruled by numbers. Does it make any difference? Some people argue that the old type of records had better fidelity than the new digital records. Many researchers find that qualitative information (interviews, focus groups) is more useful than the quantitative information found in surveys, Gallup Polls and other numerical rating systems. There are pro’s and con’s to each system but there is little doubt that digital signals are replacing analog signals in our emerging global interconnected marketplace.

In terms of personal time, are you a digital or an analog person? Digital people see the world broken into discrete increments of time, like minutes and seconds. Digital people must multi-task to manage their time. They cannot stop moving from texting to emailing to blogging to tweeting. Analog people see the world as a continuous stream of activities and events. Analog people go with the flow and tackle tasks one at a time. The analog person will rely on the phone or voice mail to make connections to the rest of the world.

If you are a digital person, how do you think your view would be changed today if you thought like an analog person? Vice versa, if you are an analog person, how do you think the world would look today to you if you thought like a digital person? Can you switch perspectives or do you find it impossible to think in such a contrary manner? How do you think your children see the world? Do they see it as a continuous flow of action or as a series of discrete events? Can you see the difference it makes in how we view the world and how each generation responds to it?

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Simon
    Oct 03, 2020 @ 11:11:28

    Now entering my 68 year on this planet I have seen a gigantic change in society , manufacturing , technology , society and in myself …
    In my analog world growing up was simple process, there was a hierarchy to life .
    There were rules handed down by each generation , we learned from our parents , friends and in our schools .

    Media communication was limited to a simple format of newspapers, TV , radio and gossip .
    There was a warmth and a security to asking your parents ‘ what when and how ‘ –
    They always knew the answers ( or so we thought ) …

    Technology was limited to our record players , tape recorders and radio . It was simple and seemed enough …
    With changes that occurred in society , the more we ventured out the more we questioned .
    Our brains like sponges absorbing information , we were learning .

    In the 80’s life started to change and technology started to creep into our daily lives .Society was on the cusp of this change .

    The 90’s was a pivotal turning point …

    The WWW created. A web of information and communication was stretching out around the world slowly engulfing us in a very distant way.

    First it was the preserve of the geeks with limited attraction then later with our personal computers and games machines …

    I do think that mankind has now got stuck , trapped if you like in a never ending spiral of ‘need’ …An addiction if you like , a fear of not being part of the machine …
    The herd has been given permission , decisions are made for us all , every day , every week , every year .
    We are now trapped in a network or lies , false ideas, misinformation and outright control . Some real some imagined .

    In my analog years my life did seem more like mine , nobody was tracking me , nobody profiling , no personal ads based on my likes and dislikes …a simpler linear world with my own personal borders.

    Seemingly our children will know little difference and may not question their world so much .

    Our memories are to blame , we have many , convoluted , jumbled and sometimes totally distorted but they are ours …

    My last example would be the perfection of a high resolution image taken with a high tech camera v’s the image captured with depth and soul of a far inferior format 35 mm.
    The analogue image may be far less detailed but carry far more feeling . A digital image may carry all the information but lack ‘feeling’ …
    Do we really need to see our world in such graphic detail or could we cope well enough sticking with an old 35 mm Nikon ? …
    My answer is still evolving , there are parts of analog and digital thinking that can live together …
    My fear is that one day we won’t need our memories any more …!

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    • Dr. John Persico Jr.
      Oct 03, 2020 @ 12:06:03

      Dear Simon, you raise some very interesting issues and perspectives on the subject. Many good questions that I guess we might never know the answer to. I always like the thought of asking is something different or a deficit. I would guess it depends on ones perspective. Each generation will view the world through a culture that may be very different than the previous culture. Thanks for taking the time to share and post your thoughts. John

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  2. Simon
    Oct 03, 2020 @ 16:20:40

    And thank you for the reply .
    Good points raised , indeed each generation will find their experience relative to their own time and space . It wouldn’t make sense to them otherwise …
    My real fear is that ‘history’ may not be much of a construct for future generations to come …
    I do hope that this digital age doesn’t let ‘us’ forget how we came to be and everything, that entailed in getting to this point in time …
    I will sign off with abject optimism and wish you well …Simon .

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    • Dr. John Persico Jr.
      Oct 03, 2020 @ 17:44:47

      Thanks Simon, maybe if they can only remember Santayana’s famous quote “Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.” John

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  3. Simon
    Oct 05, 2020 @ 04:55:46

    Exactly , summed up well .
    Thanks for the communication .
    Stay well .

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