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Electronic Disconnects! – Which way are YOU leaning?

By Ib Hagsten, Ph.D., CAC, Dpl. ACAN
Posted Monday, December 6, 2004

“Every second, worldwide, a PC (personal computer) is connected for the first time, and every half second a cellular telephone is activated,” Frank Feather, futurist from Canada. Contrast such dramatic electronic explosion with the comment from a business exceutive a few weeks ago, “You don’t have to be there” (on the web via the computer).

We are at a cross-roads between “the way we do it” and the new web-evolution. This new “webolution” will trigger a greater 30- to 50-year change than the Industrial Revolution. Most people then (Industrial Revolution) did not understand what was happening around them and to them – neither will many understand what is already happening via the web.

Do we want to stick our head in the sand about the changes that are affecting our clients and us? Or will we become informed about the changes? (regardless of how little we personally feel like participating). Alexander Graham Bell discovered the telephone. 4,000 phone companies started, yet most did not survive. The recent “high mortality rate” among companies just proves that history has a way of repeating itself.

A new computer being connected every second, somewhere in the world, and a new cell phone every half second is not “stuff out of “ Star Wars” or Popular Mechanics – it is what is happening, right now. Today half the world’s population has never made a phone call; yet it is highly probable that they will all have cell phones and computers within one generation.

The microchip is only a 30-year-old technology, yet today the chip doubles in capacity every 18 months (at the same or lower price level). When Henry Ford developed the automobile engine the US population went from horse and buggy to 90% of households having a car in only 30 short years.

No, I don’t have to be on the net. However, if I don’t get there soon I will probably be the only “caveman” left who is not working from home, buying from home, being educated in my home, communicating electronically all over the globe, and living the “web-lifestyle.”

My wife’s aunt at 92 asked me if she “could mange the rest of her days without a computer.” I assured her she would be fine. What I did not know then is the fact that next week she will celebrate her 99th birthday and continue to be mentally alert, inquisitive, yet not able to walk. Maybe I did her a dis-favor by seeing only the present, and not focusing on the future and what could have been … had I had some vision and foresight.

In summary, the “webolution” is here to stay, to increase in speed, and to invade our lives. Are we going to have an open mind, and an inquisitive mind.

About the Author
Dr. Hagsten is an international management consultant, who specializes in people motivation, technology adaptation, public speaking, and writing. He lives in the Kansas City area of USA and has travelled to 31 countries.


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