Digital vs Analog


I bet everyone has heard both of these terms before especially in reference to a clock. Clocks that have hands on them are analog, and the clock on your phone or other electronic device is a digital clock. But what is the difference between both of those terms?

Difference between Digital and Analog

What is Digital?

I'll start with digital. I bet when you hear the word digital, you automatically think computers, and that assumption is good. Computers think in a digital manner, that is to say they use binary. Now, in binary coding, you either have a 0 or 1. Or you could say on and off. In either case, there is no in between, it is either there or it isn't. This is the basic principle of digital data

What is Analog?

Analog, on the other hand, has a middle ground. Think of analog as a number line. That number line has an uncountable infinity of numbers on it. For every number you have, you can always go smaller, and you can always move the decimal point to the left. That is the principle of analog data. Another example is life. We live in an analog world. Colors, for example, fade into one another in nature and it's very hard to draw a line between which is which.

With all this being said, both data types have their uses.

Have you ever heard of morse code? That is an example of a digital communication method. You either have a dot or a dash, and that difference is what allows you to decipher the meaning of the code. This is a surefire way to make sure the recipient of the code knows exactly what you are saying. However, one drawback, is that this a slow way to communicate.

Face-to-face human interaction is an example of an analog communication method. A person's words can be independent of what that person is feeling. You have to take into account body language, and tone changes in the person's voice, and much more. This is a fast way to get across a lot of information but a lot of information may be misinterpreted.

Each data type has their pros and cons, but they are both very useful tools in technology and communication.

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