The Digital World – What is it?

What a great feeling to open a new, virginal blog and to be able to write the first post right away. And then with this topic: “The digital world”. Smaller was it not? No, it does not work because this topic has become so central, so significant and so dominant. In my life and in yours maybe as well.

However, where and how to begin? First take a look at Wikipedia. Sorry, no results for this term in the combination of digital and world. Well, then only the way of the analytical procedure remains accompanied by my own experiences and mental images.

First, a few theses, which I have considered in preparation for the topic. After the enumeration I will touch on every thesis and expound my personal view of things. Of course connected with the idea of ‚Äč‚Äčopening a dialogue to these and other theses. You are cordially invited.

My theses: the digital world:

  • is not identical to the internet
  • is limitless
  • offers a variety of entry and access points
  • is constantly changing and growing incessantly

The digital world is not identical to the Internet

At first glance, one might assume that the Internet equates to the digital world. However, I think that would have jumped a little too short. In my opinion, the Internet is more of a technical component (the network), which of course is fundamental to the functioning of the digital world, but is not sufficient for the sole description.

From my point of view, I want to define the digital world as follows:

Sum of all programs, media, services and functions that are available worldwide in digitized form and are generally accessible and usable via interfaces or access points.

Thus, the ticket machine is also part of the digital world even if it is connected via the Internet, if necessary, with other central services of the respective provider. Other examples that I think of as elements of the digital world are:

  • all electronic devices and systems (navigation system, traffic jam, multimedia systems, etc.) in modern vehicles by road, rail, water and air
  • the various machines in the public area (ticket machine, parking ticket machine, self-payers in the trade)
  • the new and modern devices of home electronics (Smart TV and multimedia server)
  • of course your own computer

The digital world is limitless

The digital world is also composed of specific areas. In the real world these are countries and continents. In the digital world, the equivalent could be the various computer networks that are joined together via the Internet technologies to a large, the digital world. The operators of these computer networks can in turn be very different in nature. Examples include: government agencies, the military, state institutions, small and medium-sized enterprises, large corporations, public institutions, universities and, of course, private persons.

Although, of course, every operator must protect their content against misuse, theft and other cybercrime, there remains a general desire to make as much content as possible accessible to as many people as possible. This means that what is understood in the real world generally under borders (controls, visa requirements, non-entry permit, etc.) should be reduced to the absolute minimum in the digital world. The goal is the actual limitlessness.

The digital world offers entry and access points

One of the most important and (above all in the past) most-used entry points into the digital world is quickly identified: the own computer with the associated browser. That was in the early years of the Internet also fully correct. Especially since 1989 when Tim Berners-Lee developed the first browser under the name WorldWideWeb at CERN. Early products such as Mosaic and Netscape have long since disappeared and have been superseded by the dominant browsers: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Apple’s Safari.

But soon the home computer became the competition as the sole entry point into the digital world. Coming soon with the first stage of development of mobile devices, the emergence of portable computers in the form of laptops or notebooks from the late 1980s. Now it was possible to get access to the digital services while on the move.