What Is Digital – An Explanation In A Nutshell

Being millennial  we always come across the term called “digital” which is used extensively over the internet.  This post aims at categorizing all things that are digital and understand “what is digital” in a nutshell.   The term is primarily being used to describe modernization of computer technology.
As a marketing professional, I always wonder what all things could be wrapped in this package called digital. Let us see some historic data pertaining to usage of the term in English literature across internet.  Google Books Ngram Viewer, shows the popularity and usage trend for the keyword “digital” and it’s variations.
The graph clearly shows that the term is not new to the world. Way back in 1897, when dot matrix LED displays were emerging in the market, people often used the term “digit”. During those days, the term “digits” symbolized “of pertaining to a finger, or to the things that can be counted on fingers / digits”. The term “got it’s popularity only in the mid-twentieth century when the computer technology was revolutionized with breathtaking innovations.

Google defines digital as “relating to, using, or storing data or information in the form of digital signals. 
According to Google Trends, “digital data” is extensively searched term up till now. What is digital data? In information theory, we define “digital data” as the discrete, discontinuous representation of information, in form of 0s and 1s. Any file stored on your computer hard disc is always stored in form of binary string consisting 0s and 1s like 010000100010101010…… For example, an image of size 1kb would have 1000 bytes of information that is equivalent to 8000 bits of information in a long string consisting 8000 0s and 1s. 

What is bit, byte etc? Bit stands for BInary digiT represented by either 0 or 1. A byte consist of 8 bits made up of only 0s and 1s. It takes 1 byte or 8 bits to store single alphabetic charachter. For example the first letter of the english alphabets is stored on your hard disc in form of a string represented as [0100 0001] At this point, it should be clear to you that each and every piece of information is stored in your machine in form of 0s and 1s. 

This representation of data in computer technology has given rise to trend of using word “digital” with other words to give it a modernized resonance. For example, digital art, digital illustration, digital media, digital marketing and last but not the least digital callout.

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