Watching Atoms Burn

Being digital seems to be moving us away from old school things such as books, CDs, and physical photos. Now we have everything we need on our digital devices. This is when Bits vs. Atoms comes into play. Atoms are physical objects such as CDs, books, and printed photographs. Bits are the smallest unit of information on a computer. In other words, Atoms are physical and bits are digital. We privilege atoms because we have something physical to hold. But what if we lose it?

The book Being Digital predicts that everything that is made up of atoms will eventually be made into bits. This prediction is already coming true. We now have phones for our photos, iTunes instead of CDs, and nooks instead of books just to name a few. The world of technology is advancing quickly and soon enough we will not have a need for physical items anymore. Why would anybody need multiple physical items when they could have all of the information on one digital device instead? It is easier, faster, and more reliable.

We wanted to see how the digital world has affected people at different ages. We asked multiple people of all different age groups a simple question.

“What would you take with you if there was a house fire and you could only grab one thing?”

Almost every person that we asked this question to that was above the age of 40 said that they would grab something physical such as their family members or a special photo.

Almost every person that we asked that was under the age of 40 said that they would grab their digital device whether it is their phone or their computer.

This shows that time and the new digital age has changed what humans.

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