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Changing lifestyles

Many aspects of our lives are affected by information technology - home life, leisure, shopping, banking, work.

Home and leisure

A large proportion of the machines we take for granted at home are controlled by microprocessors [microprocessor: an integrated circuit that contains all or most of the individual elements of a central processing unit (CPU) ], including:

  • microwave ovens
  • washing machine
  • dishwashers
  • central heating boilers


Activities we do in our leisure time are increasingly dependent on information technology, such as:

  • watching digital [digital: data measured at discrete intervals, eg a digital watch typically moves from displaying one second to the next without displaying the values in-between ] or satellite TV
  • watching videos and DVDs [Digital Versatile Disc (DVD): used to store data, eg a movie ]
  • playing computer games
  • listening to music on CD [Compact Disc (CD): used to store data, eg music CD ] and MP3 players
  • browsing the Internet [Internet: a global network connecting millions of computers ]

Online booking

Online bookings are growing as fast as online shopping. Theatre, cinemas, concerts, air tickets, train tickets, hotels and package holidays are all available on the web [web: includes all of the web pages accessible via the Internet ], often at cheaper prices than buying them from high street shops. Bookings can be made across the world by Internet connection [Internet connection: a computer's or another internet-enabled device's connection to the Internet ].


  • instantly find out availability
  • book out of office hours
  • pay and receive confirmation (via email [email: electronic mail - a message written or typed on a computer and sent electronically rather than by post ]) immediately
  • lower prices - access to a greater number of retailers increases competition and prices fall


  • risk buying from a website [website: a web page or group of web pages hosted on one web server and viewed in a web browser ] setup to scam money out of customers, ie the tickets never come
  • even when buying from genuine websites, the tickets may not arrive in the post in time (where confirmation email cannot be used).
  • websites may not be able to cope with high demand (making them inaccessible)

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