Over time, the digital world has rocketed, growing and developing quicker than we can sign up to the next big thing! This has changed the way we talk to each other, how companies sell and how news is spread. It’s an exciting time, but what have we learnt?

1) Using the internet is second nature

Today we use more internet every second than we did in the entire year of 1993. It’s part of everyday life to settle arguments with Google, to chat online with friends, even to make your living online. ‘Millennials’, those youngsters born between 1977 and the 2000s, are the first generation of digital natives, so we now have a whole generation who don’t know life before Facebook!

2) Search is power

Since Google arrived in 1998, it has become the biggest search engine in the world. It’s a household name that we all rely on, as we spot trends on Twitter and rush to Google to find out more. Though dominating search, Google is not the only contender. Bing, Yandex and Baidu are just a few growing global competitors. This has created a whole industry of search engine optimization, whereby link-building and PR tactics are used to get businesses ranking at number one on search results!

3) We always need more data

Because web usage has grown so quickly, we are forever in need of more space. In 2002, we realized that it’s cheaper to store information digitally than on thousands of sheets of paper. Tech company EMC claims that by 2020, the digital universe will have grown to 40,026 Exabytes or 40026,000000 terabytes! That’s a lot of emails, blogs and selfies!

4) Smartphones are smarter

The first smartphone came on to the scene in 1992 and in 2007 the iPhone unlocked a new world of apps. App developers are raking in profit from social networking to gaming and shopping. It’s even changing the way we share news, as anyone can snap events on their phones and become an instant journalist.

5) We take the internet with us everywhere

Around 14 million wearable devices were shipped in 2011. In 2013 a study found that workers who have wearable devices increase their productivity by 8.5% and their job satisfaction by 3.5%. From Google Glass to the Apple Watch, not only will people be checking their phones, but their wrists and glasses – this brings with it a whole new realm of marketing!

6) Social networks come and go

For a while, Myspace was one of the most popular social networking sites, with many thinking it’d always be that way. Then along came Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Now, there are rumors of competition from new site Ello. Facebook will have to make sure it keeps users happy to keep the site alive!

7) Fast isn’t enough, We need superfast

We now have phones, tablets and laptops. Sharing broadband with many devices can be a nightmare, so now it has to be faster than ever. Fibre broadband is making waves in the online world, bringing us speeds that allow us to connect many devices at once and download, share and stream information as and when we like!

8) Bring your own device

Now our internet is faster than ever, workplaces are encouraging ‘bring your own device’ policies or BYOD. Employers can save on hardware costs and allow staff to be flexible, working from home and from their own devices. At the same time, however, employers have had to risk security, laziness and distraction – though it has been said that having access to social media at work can make you more productive!

9) Security is vital

Cloud mishaps involving celebrities have made security worries all the more important in recent months. Both at work and home, viruses like Heartbleed are a scary reality, especially as we now submit so much personal information. We’ve learnt to check privacy settings like Sherlock Holmes and change passwords on an almost daily basis.

10) We still love cats

Despite all the changes in the digital world, we still favour felines. Cute, funny or heart-warming, it’s hard to escape pictures of pets. Cat photos earn the online trophy, getting shared 2-3 times more than dogs online!

View these infographics if you want to find more about the rise of digital or the future of the workplace.

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