On Merriam Webster’s online dictionary the first definition for the word digital is “of or relating to the fingers or toes.” That may not be the first definition that comes to your mind when you think of the word digital. Today, we routinely utilize our fingers and toes (for some) to manipulate what is considered the fourth definition of the word digital: of, relating to, or being data in the form of especially binary digits.
As a society we have become digitized. For example, consider how casual photography has changed. When I was in pre-school my mother would snap some pictures of me at my birthday. She would then get the film developed and place the pictures in a paper bag with a label on it. That bag would then be stored on some shelf for nostalgic viewing. Today, my friends hardly even use digital cameras. Instead, they snap pictures with their smartphones. These pictures are usually not saved to the phone’s memory. Instead, these pictures are instantly digitized on the server of some online account, such as Facebook.
We not only digitize pictures. We digitize more and more: recipes, music, movies, TV shows, video games, mail, and even our conversations and thoughts. As a result, we are accumulating more and more information by the minute. You can only stack so many paper bags on a shelf. Facebook accounts use Terabytes, not shelves. A Terabyte is a unit of digital information and it can also be much less organized then nicely labeled paper bags. Furthermore, after you’re gone your heirs having access to your Facebook Terabyte depends on a number of different factors. Our generation’s children won’t be able to look through grandma’s tangible photo album because it simply won’t exist. If our society continues to become more digital and less physical, the value of personal items and information will continue to decrease.
One of the greatest things you can leave behind is your legacy, so don’t let that be a cluttered mess of digitized stuff. Think twice before you digitize and start planning now for what you have already digitized. If you have any questions about your digital assets please feel free to contact us, we’d be happy to help you secure these items.