What did we do before all the electronic entertainment and how much has the cell phone changed us? I remember the time when I would wonder about some arcane fact driving or lying in bed – and that’s where it stopped. If I remembered the question the next day I might try to look it up in an encyclopedia and hope whatever trivia I was pondering had an entry in the family Funk and Wagner encyclopedia or the Encyclopedia Britannica in the library. If you wanted movie trivia, or trivia about a TV personality, a person was just out of luck. Larger libraries had more specialized encyclopedias, but even then, they weren’t up to date – and usually had a year of more gap with current knowledge.
Now, if I want to know how many kids the comedian Drew Carey has, I can not only get the answer, but I get his kids names and even details about them. How amazing, but also a bit scary. Have you searched for your name? The amount of information about you is frightening. Also – once it’s there – it’s there. I can’t imagine what would have happened if some of what I did in college would have been immortalized in social media. I feel blessed (although somewhat curious) that there are no pictures of my exploits in school. As former president George Bush answered during an interview about his college exploits, “when I was young and dumb…I was young and dumb!”
I imagine that in 10 years we will simply think a question and your personal embedded device will immediately answer. What will the future hold? I can answer one thing definitively – knowledge. Think about what we will know tomorrow.