Our Digital Life

This year I went about my regular Christmas shopping and discovered an unusual trend.

As I went through my list of people and was thinking about what to buy each of them I was surprised at how often the answer was “iTunes voucher”.

The thing is… it wasn’t all for the same reasons.

Sure… I’m a bit of an Apple Fanboy.. and that would predispose me to surround myself from other similar people of “the faith”…

But as I went through my list I was amazed at how many of those people weren’t fanboys.

And.. More than that.. the reason I bought them iTunes vouchers was for very different reasons.

For one person it was to buy music. She LOVES her music… she is always plugged into her iPod or iTunes and listening to new tracks… So it seemed like the perfect gift.

For someone else it was because he was really into Mac productivity apps. Once again it was the obvious gift.

And so on and so forth.

It’s gotten me thinking about things.

You see… I believe we really DO have a digital life… And that’s not what most people mean by it..

It’s not that there is our real life… and that part of of that involves digital devices and so forth…

It’s that our lives ARE DIGITAL…

We increasingly spend more and more hours in front a glowing white rectangle… whether it’s connecting with others on social networks… reading the news… sending and receiving emails… browsing the web… playing games… reading books… writing documents… more and more and more of our lives are spent LIVING it digitally.

It’s interesting… There’s a growing trend for people to choose minimalism.. that is… eschewing the collection of “stuff”, pruning back our lives to bare minimal – a very “Zen” existence.

For those who embark on this quest…. a strange thing occurs.

The physical …. becomes digital.

We start with all our books… and replace them with their digital counterparts.

All our music turns into digital tracks.

Our movie collections and TV shows become part of a digital library… or get streamed from services such as Netflix or Hulu.

Our paper life… gets scanned and turned into searchable PDF files.

You begin to realize that much of our lives… the “stuff” that fills our houses is actually “data” that is well suited to carrying around in digital format… taking no space at all.

It’s pretty cool, actually…

When you do this. When you “strip back” to the essentials… and then you travel you realize that you have your entire life… in your suitcase. With your laptop… your iPhone… your iPad… you have your whole life…

I do anyway… It’s actually quite empowering… When you get back home.. you unpack… and it’s like you’re checking into a hotel.. .which is your home.

Our lives are digital – think about it… It’s actually empowering for those who can do it – make the transition.

Because you can sever the connection between what you do and where you live – which means you can work ANYWHERE in the world… more and more of my friends are making this transition. I plan to do so soon too.

Stop filling your life full of “stuff” that can take up zero space on your digital devices.

You’ll be glad that you did.