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Living a Digital Lifestyle

Digital lifestyle

From online shopping to social media, people can create their own innovative content and post it on YouTube, Facebook or Blog etc. They can transact or pay bills on their mobile phones. Digital banking for example allows individuals and companies to open an account, access payments, savings and credit products without ever stepping into a bank branch. This is possible through digitization, which can essentially turn a smartphone into a wallet, a bank branch and even a library.

The diagram below depicts three spheres of living a digital lifestyle.

Digital lifestyle framework

Digital lifestyle makes it easier for people to connect around the world using internet and digital technologies, enable people to work anywhere and creates smart home experiences.

Digital lifestyles

The digital world presents many possibilities and benefits to individuals and companies. It enables people to connect more with their loved ones, build new friendships all over the world. It enables companies to reach out more to customers through digital marketing etc. Digital lifestyle is just another form of independence, giving people more flexibility to create the life they imagine. When used wisely, there is no doubt that digital has the power to enhance the quality of lives, both now and in the future. Six well known digital lifestyles are listed below:

  1. Influencers – Mostly young people, love mobile internet, passionate about social media, blog regularly, have a loud voice online and big online shoppers.

  2. Networkers – They use the internet and social media mostly to establish and maintain relationships. Don’t really have a loud online voice.

  3. Communicators – They just love interacting with people whether it’s face to face, on mobile devices, social media, online or email.

  4. Aspirers – Looking for opportunities to expand their online presence, they mostly access internet from home however wants to be more active on their mobile devices as well.

  5. Knowledge seekers – These are typical researchers, who use the internet to gain more knowledge, information and to educate themselves. They don’t have much interest on social networking but do like to connect with like-minded people.

  6. Functionals – As the name suggest the internet is like a functional tool to them. They are not really social networking minded but do like to keep in touch with latest news, sports, weather and also do online shopping.

Connected home

The internet as we know of is a global computer network, consisting of interconnected networks using standardized communication protocols. It enables digital or technology devices to connect with each other, services and apps make to it easier for the content (information, video, music etc.) to be shared, accessed from anywhere in your home. This concept is often described as connected home. To name a few examples, connected home comprises of the following services:

  • Home security (for example Cocoon vendor offer security devices)

  • Home automation (Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, Amazon Echo (Alexa) and Google Home Assistant)

  • Energy management products and services (RWE AG Smart home)

  • Media entertainment (Webee intelligent connected home solution), and

  • Health and fitness (Empatica and Whoop products).

If your content is stored in the cloud service (YouTube is a good example), it can be shared anywhere where there is an internet connection. These services and apps are delivered over multiple interlinked and integrated devices, sensors, tools and platforms. This concept is widely known as Internet of Things (IoT). The communication is enabled by Broadband, Wi-Fi, 3G or 4G network. Some would wonder how this is all possible. Well, this is supported by digital technologies for example, smart learning algorithms and predictive analytics, to deliver the smart home experiences.

The “things” refer to technology gadgets, for example mobile devices, game consoles, smart TVs, digital cameras, iPods, laptops, tablets etc. The fully networked world changes how we imagine life. We are living in the digital revolution times where housework will be done by robots; fridges could stock themselves according to your dietary requirements and “artificial intelligence” (AI) is at advanced level. There is still a long way to go before the adoption of connected home services and devices becomes a global mass market.

Mobile working

The digital lifestyle enables people to work anywhere in the world where there’s internet connectivity, for example home, office, hotel, coffee shop etc. You can work for a company that is based in London, New York while you live in South Africa. It sounds too good to be true right. Digital technologies have brought about sweeping changes in the workplace, for example video-conferencing, Voice over IP, VPN etc. This allows employees to attend online meetings. Many employers are starting to offer work at home opportunities for their employees. This happens more in developed countries than developing countries. It saves employers office space, boosts productivity and moves them a step closer to successful digital transformation. Mobile working can enable teams to balance their work-life schedule based on their individual needs. However this will require a lot of trust and discipline between the employee and employer. The possibilities of what you can do with a completely digital lifestyle are almost endless. Can digital disrupt workplace culture? Stay tuned for more!

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