Entering a digital world with a keyboard with lit letters.

What is Digital?




Leah Boonstra

When I was first trying to define digital, a few words came to mind: technology, computers, communication, etc. It was something that was new. I thought the word was invented with technology and computers. As more and more ways of communication become reliable, it is impossible to categorize it as one thing. Or a word with only one meaning. If you were to ask yourself the meaning of “digital” what definitions would you come up with? Would your definition be similar to mine? Or do you have a better understanding of the word in all of its many forms?

Other Forms of Digital

However, the actual meaning was shocking. It was hard to wrap my head around it. According to the Merriam – Webster definition of digital (as an adjective) , it has many different meanings. Some of which do not include technology at all! In a writing done by Douglas Eyman, called “Defining and Locating Digital Rhetoric”, he dedicates a section to “Digital” and explain the different meanings of it. He describes technology-free forms of the language as “writing, Morse code, and the Braille alphabet.” We use it everyday and we may not even realize. It even includes the things we do with out digits, or our fingers. Our everyday skills require the use of our hands and fingers, thus using our digits in everything we do.

Digging Deeper

Digital language is used every day. A lot of people do not realize that they are using forms of it in everything they do. For example, typing and writing an email to a colleague are both forms of communication. Some people may prefer using technology – free forms of communication. In reference to my last blog post “Privacy in the Digital World” the use of technology can create privacy issues. Handwriting or using our own fingers to communicate ensure privacy. What do you use to communicate everyday? Technology or not, it is still the main way to communicate.


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