Our Connected World

I was with my wife and youngest stepson today in Allen, MI. We were on our way back to Ann Arbor from a baseball tournament in Ft. Wayne when my wife thought it would be a good idea to stop for lunch and antique shopping (full disclosure: I am not a big fan of “antiquing” and the 10 year old even less so). Nevertheless, we stopped, had a phenomenal lunch at the Outpost Grill, and went through several antique “malls.”

While walking down memory lane, what was interesting to me was the reaction(s) of the 10 year old. He would hold up several items that I took for granted that everyone knew, and he asked me with a puzzling look “what’s this?” I would answer “that is a record, that is how we used to listen to music;” “this is a typewriter, something we would use to write letters before Microsoft Word;” “this is an instant camera, what we used to take pictures and get immediate results (well, within several minutes).”

He then shrugged his shoulders, took pictures with his iPhone of these “weird” items and then “snap chatted” them to his friends. Before this day and this trip to the “Antique Capital of Michigan,” I was really struggling with the CEP Module 5 Lab. Then it hit me, WE ARE REALLY CONNECTED!! My wife has Facebook friends from Sweden. I have made inquiries and have chatted online to solve problems with people from California, India and Norway. I have access to a larger medical library than I could ever imagine before. We are no longer limited by what we have immediately in front of us. I can send an email to a friend in Canada while texting my mother in Florida while checking the status of my wife’s flight to California (and taking / texting a picture of our dog to her). I can do this all with one handheld device!

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So I came home (while watching the Spartans beat Louisville and make it to the Final Four!!) and created the above prototype model. The shoebox represents the world. The Racquetballs on top of the Q-tip, impregnated toilet paper holders represent the people of the world. They are located in all corners of the world. Information is represented by the different colored ribbon. Notice how each person is connected to one and other by the “information.”

Amazing what a day of “antiquing” can do (no worries, made it home in time for opening tipoff)!!

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