The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Technology Changes the Look, Feel, and Behavior at the Doctor's Office

Yesterday, I was at the doctor's office. After checking in, I looked around at my fellow patients waiting patiently to see their doctor and was struck by how different the room looked from years past. All but one of the patients was looking studiously into a phone, tablet, or reader screen in one form or another. The one exception was the preteen in the room. He was actually reading a magazine, looking like a patient from years long gone. It amused me that the digital native (someone who has grown up surrounded by high tech) was going old school while the digital immigrants (people who were alive prior to cell phones, tablets, and ebooks) were all busy with screens.

I discovered that having such a device with you gives you an air of one who is busy working. The nurse interrupted my reading (Nook app on an iPad 3) saying, "I'm sorry to interrupt your work, but we're ready for you." I was actually reading a novel, but appreciated the air of business savvy and type A work ethic my device was giving me.

With all these portable computers, the scene around us really has changed a lot. Back in 2003, my family and I made the "pilgrimage" to Disney World (great time by the way). During the "Parade of Lights" on the first evening, I saw something I could never remember seeing before. People were lined up on either side of the wide boulevard to watch the glowing parade go by and the folks on the other side seem to have had the light show leak into their midst. There were softly glowing rectangular shapes scattered all through the crowd and at first I didn't recognize those lights for what they were. I was mystified by their presence in the crowd. Then it hit me. All those small rectangular lights I was seeing were coming from people's handheld video recorders with the small view screens that extended out to the side of the unit. Technology had changed the look of the crowd.

I wonder what that doctor's waiting room will look like another ten years down the line? What technology will we be wearing/using then that gives the office another, entirely different look?

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