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The True Meaning of “Digital”




How often do you hear the word digital and immediately think to yourself “electronic” or “computer?” Many people correlate the word “digital” with only electronic devices, which is far from true.

Electronic devices were not around forever, so do people really think that no forms of digital literacy existed before electronics? There were other forms of communication and “digitals” before electronics were created.

Some of which may even be attached to your own body…..

If not electronic, then what?

This is a question you may be asking yourself since we have been trained to connect “electronic” and “digital” together. One example that might be a huge shocker to people is our own fingers.

Think about it, when we are given a math problem to solve with no outside help, we typically resort to using our fingers. Fingers exist as long as we continue to exist, so using them to our advantage is a digital device.

You may even see examples of digital devices in sports. For example, the score of a game (such as baseball, basketball, etc.) used to be tracked by a score flipper. Every time the score changed, someone would flip the paper of numbers on the ring to change the score. This was a method of keeping track of numbers when electronics were not yet a thing.

In the “Digital” subsection of the article titled, “Digital Rhetoric” the author Eyman, Douglas, explains how digital has a connection to the material production of texts. This does not have to necessarily be just electronic either, it can be also in the form of print. This is very important to remember since the connection between digital and electronic is not always fully correct.

Why are digital devices important?

It is important to understand that digital devices can be found through so many forms other than electronic devices. As much as we always want to rely on our computers for assistance, we should remember that they aren’t everything.

Plus, aren’t they already trying to replace us? So why wouldn’t we branch out and understand that digital devices don’t just come from the uses of electronics? We should continue to remind ourselves that there is more to our lives than our electronic devices.

Digital devices are all around us and if we took the time to stop and look around more, we would realize it. The fact that we have digital devices on our own bodies is fascinating enough, and most of us probably did not even realize it until now.


One response to “The True Meaning of “Digital””

  1. […] of something that has to do with electronics and computers. Befrore I read Doug Eyman’s article, “Defining and Locating Digital Rhetoric” I was also included in that group. Even the article itself mentions that “Digital’ is […]

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