With Apple’s newest addition to the smartphone zeitgeist just weeks away from release now, we’re more addicted than ever to logging on and living our lives through the internet. The digital age is well and truly upon us, and though it’s been a welcome change for some, it’s also been instrumental in the way businesses are run – and it’s not always for the best. Here are just a few ways that we’re going from offline to online.
The digital uprising has largely been touted as the decline of the UK high street, and though Christmas shopping figures may tell us otherwise, the internet has had an overwhelming effect on today’s shoppers. In 2013, it was predicted that 5,000 high street stores would be shut down due to the effect of the internet, and it’s easy to see why – with no queues, fuel costs or pushy salesmen, people are now going digital with their disposable income.
Online gaming is taking off at an exponential rate, and it’s largely thanks to the rise of smartphones, giving us access to our favourite games wherever we are. In particular, online gambling has seen a huge rise in interest in the last 10 years, with revenues of £1 billion in the UK alone in 2012. Whereas 10 years ago people would visit land-based casinos, today they have far more choice online. Moreover, sports betting has also seen a huge increase, with apps offering sports news and encouraging bettors to have a flutter based on the latest changes.
We all remember the sad demise of Blockbuster in January 2013, which could not compete with its online competitors in terms of the breadth of content available and the immediacy of access to our favourite titles. With movie streaming websites on the up, it is only a matter of time until the humble DVD meets its maker along with its predecessor, the VHS.
While staying in remains to new going out, today’s consumers are now even forgoing the traditional telephone process to get access to their favourite meals. Our beloved takeaway snacks are now available to order online, with many well known food outlets even creating their own apps, allowing us to pick exactly what we want at the touch of a button. Thankfully, food doesn’t come in graphic form just yet, but it could be a matter of time…
More stressful work patterns and less disposable income to go out and meet people in social situations are turning our attentions to online dating sites, which have seen an exponential rise in recent years. In particular, dating apps have taken off, with sites such as Tinder providing people with a quirky way to meet people and chat amongst friends.