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?

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