Digital culture is the act of how we as humans communicate and interact with our surroundings through the ever-growing enhancement of technologies (GDS, 2020). This includes how we have capitalised on the Internet and used the data that has been made available to us. Sites such as social media platforms and devices such as personal computers and smartphones have boosted data flows to such a degree that technology and digitalisation can be said to play a part in most/if not all aspects of life.
At the heart of digital culture is linked open data (LOD), which is an approach that connections between humans and machines. It allows metadata to be enhanced so that links and representations can be made between related sources of said data. As a result, it becomes easier to manage and diffuse data across a variety of digital platform due to its interconnectedness. Consequently, creating meaning from this data is crucial for the growth of digital culture.
While previously, improvements in software and hardware have allowed us to transfer and share information with relative ease, at no point was it of the upmost importance until the COVID-19 pandemic. With most of the world under restrictions to stay at home, companies have embraced digital culture to create more horizontal networks between employees and permits quicker decision making (GDS, 2020). Conference platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft teams have seen exponential growth with Zoom alone seeing revenue increase 30-fold (Sherman, 2020). Equally, other platforms such as Apple’s Facetime, usually thought of as a form of social media, has been adapted to function similar to Zoom including to send invitation links to those who do not possess an Apple device (Tibken, 2021). All of this emphasises that digital culture has rethought the way humans interact with space and time as it recovers the spatial and temporal disruptions by reimagining them in virtual forms (Allen, 2020).
Digital culture has other benefits in the workplace. As mentioned previously, it breaks down hierarchy not only structurally but also in terms of the mindset of the individual as adopting digital culture allows company members to think collectively and thus be more efficient (Lobo, 2019). Indeed, millennials and GenZs are gradually rejecting the idea of having “9-5” work routine. Instead, thanks to digital culture, these age groups are heavily interested in being part of a working environment that is innovative and where that can be autonomous. If done correctly, employees can feel over 4 times more engaged than those who do not embrace digital culture (Microsoft, 2021).
Allen 2020: https://www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9781137033468
Sherman, 2020: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-52884782