A Lifetime in the Digital

The buzzing of an alarm clock, music or podcast dialogues filling rooms, texts and emails popping up on every screen: these are just a sprinkling of daily activities filled with devices. In our contemporary and modern moment, it has become clear that society’s backbone heavily relies on digital media, each vertebrae a unique outlet that becomes entertainment, education, or news (such as blogs, movies, websites, radio, emails, and more). A Day in the Digital can now become A Week in the Digital, or even A Lifetime in the Digital due to the clear and significant impact different devices have bestowed on our lives. Simultaneously, while these important media developments have positively affected our lifestyles, such as educating individuals about current events on radio or releasing dopamine when jamming to music, there have been many conversations about its serious negative impact. For instance, the mind numbing scrolling on social media, the constant comparisons between our lives and others, or the decrease of in-person interactions.

 I can admit that I have always thought only of Digital Media’s consequences and not its positives, only viewing the reliance of our devices and media as a negative impact on our lifestyles. 

However, as I excitedly travelled through Amsterdam this weekend to see “The Swan Lake” at the Royal Theater Carré, I finally understood the impact of our digital devices. I realized that when balancing Digital Media and Traditional Media (such as live performances or physical newspapers), a harmonious relationship can be produced, in turn creating thousands of exciting and new experiences for an individual. 

Immediately, it was through digital advertisements and websites that I learned about the ballet occurring this weekend in Amsterdam. Without these enticing online promotions, I would have never experienced the beautiful performance and viewed the incredible theatre. Additionally, I heavily utilized the NS App, yet another digital media channel, to plan and figure out how I would navigate through Amsterdam in order to timely arrive at the theatre. If this knowledge was not publicly showcased on an app, it would have been much more of a challenge to navigate myself throughout the big city, which would have made the experience more stressful and less exciting. Furthermore, once I arrived at the theatre, my digital ticket was easy to scan, making the process of entering the building a lot more efficient. 

Through all of these Digital Media channels, the process of travelling to the theatre became uncomplicated and effortless, in turn allowing me to completely lose myself in the performance as I did not have to stress about any logistics. The traditional media in this experience became the performance itself, which captivated me as I watched the dancers express countless emotions through their elegant moves.

 As I headed back home, I began to send photos to family and friends of the experience, helping me to bond and create stronger connections with loved ones around the world. As Carrie James and et al. point out:

Video-based technologies have been shown to support meaningful conversation between children and geographically-separated family members.

James, Carrie, Katie Davis, Linda Charmaraman, Sara Konrath, Petr Slovak, Emily Weinstein, and Lana Yarosh. “Digital Life and Youth Wellbeing, Social Connectedness, Empathy, and Narcissism.” p. S72

Therefore, the final digital processing in this experience, sending images and videos, also granted me the chance to deepen my relationships. Through digital media, I was given the chance to create a unique and exceptional experience of a traditional medium: websites introduced me to this ballet, apps helped me easily find a way to participate, and social media allowed me to converse with family and friends.  

In all, this trip to the theatre allowed me to see that A Lifetime in the Digital can be positive and remarkable when finding a balance between our devices and our reality. 

Please let me know what you think about the impact of digital media! Additionally, how do you balance traditional and digital media in your everyday life? 

Thank you! 


James, Carrie, Katie Davis, Linda Charmaraman, Sara Konrath, Petr Slovak, Emily Weinstein, and Lana Yarosh. “Digital Life and Youth Well-being, Social Connectedness, Empathy, and Narcissism.” Pediatrics 140, no. Supplement_2 (2017): S71-S75. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2016-1758F.