Throwing It Back: 8 Ways Digitalisation Has Changed Our Lives

How this article came about: I was just speaking to a friend and digging up all the nostalgic feels associated with Disney, and it somehow turned into a “90s babies do kind of get the best of both worlds” kind of conversation. So that prompted me to come up with this. It’s by no means complete, but it’s a fun trip down memory lane to see what has changed since like, 20 years ago. TL;DR, everything is different now, but we thought this would be a fun way to just reminisce about the past. Here’s how digitalisation has changed our lives:

1) Publication

You could still get things in print for sure, but you can’t deny that e-pubs are really convenient. All the information you need is on a screen, from news, articles, stories, recipes… one gadget can do it all, eliminating the need for physical copies of publications. Of course, certain publications like books in particular are still in popular demand, but you have to admit that digitalisation has made information way more accessible and convenient!

2) Media

Ok who remembers the days of sending music and pictures on MSN Messenger, or from phone to phone via Bluetooth? Nowadays there are so many ways to share media, whether you want to upload an entire album to Facebook, send it to someone via one of the many apps available, or post pictures/videos on Instagram or TikTok. Or some other app I haven’t heard of maybe? Also can we talk about the creation and rise of memes? That, in my opinion, is fostering creativity and media sharing at its best!

Image Credit: @amine on

3) Teamwork

Teamwork isn’t the easiest to navigate, especially if you have to wait for one another to get the job done, or to share and receive information. With so many cloud-based and workspace apps designed for teams, working together can be made so much easier. You can dump all your files in one place, making it accessible to your team, and each one of them can contribute as they see fit. You can also work on something together remotely, instead of needing to meet up in person.

4) Entertainment

Casettes, VHS tapes, walkman, CDs, DVDs, VCDs… how many of these things do you recognise or remember? Nowadays we don’t even need anything of these things; all we need is a gadget and internet connection, pay, and you’ll get entertainment at your fingertips. So many local and international streaming services are now available for both film and music, and you don’t have to lug around your albums anymore. All streaming services come with the “pause” function, and it seems like no one remembers the time where you had to race back from the bathroom because “advertisements are over and the show’s coming on again”.

5) Medicine

We’re not discounting the need for hospitals, clinics, and other medical services, but you have to admit that even the medicine industry has jumped on the digitalisation bandwagon. I’m not talking about medical procedures undertaken by doctors because I’m not an expert and frankly, I don’t know how that has changed, but I mean for consultation. There are several telemedicine apps available, and consultation can be done via phone call, text, audio messages, or video calls. Some also offer e-prescription and medication delivery services, and there’s no denying that this is definitely a convenient option!

6) Fitness

I don’t know what cavemen did for exercise, hunting, maybe? Anyway, joining gyms are pretty much the norm for fitness. There’s loads of equipment, classes, personal trainers, gym buddies, and when you pay you might be more inclined to make it your money’s worth, so you go. However, you can get most of your fitness on at home, if you know how to. Okay, so maybe you don’t get the big, bulky equipment, but weights, yoga mats, and exercise balls are definitely doable. Fitness apps help keep track of your fitness stats such as sleep, heart rate, step count etc. and there are so many options you can take when it comes to working out. Fitness watches are part of it as well, so really, you can just work out with the help of these apps without taking one step out of your house, if that’s what you like.

7) Communication

From sending letters by carrier pigeon to rotary phones, we’ve come a long way to improve communication. Thanks to digitalisation, communication is now instant, even when you’re not physically together. So many messaging apps. Chat apps. Video call apps. Look, the communication app world is your oyster. There’s definitely something for everyone in your Google Play or Apple app store. SMSes were the forerunner of these though, and once in a while you still see posts that say, “I miss you. Do not reply. This is my mum’s number.” Young love, the 90s way.

8) Artwork & Creation

Last but not least, art has gone digital too! Whether it’s designing something or coming up with a painting, you can now do it digitally as well. That’s not to say that “manual” art has completely gotten pushed aside; both types of art aren’t easy to take on. Digital art has simply opened more doors on creating, and for design as well. Now you can edit and amend instead of starting from scratch. Surely, that’s a plus point?

All. The. Feels. Excuse me while I go silently panic in a corner over my age, and how absolutely fossil-like I feel.