Driving home yesterday, one of the topics of conversation on the local sports station was the cold winter we are having in Metro Detroit. For those of us who grew up here in the 70s, 80s and earlier, many are saying “this is how I remember winter.” And it’s true.
The 1970s were the snowiest decade in the last 100 years and looking at the graphic below, you can see winters really have been getting warmer, especially when looking at extremes like total number of days below 0.
So now that we are having what I call a real Michigan winter, what’s the impact on us?
First off, we now name snow storms, in essence, the media markets them. Thirty years ago when it snowed it was called … snow. But now when Polar Vortex Frosty is predicted, we storm the grocery stores to stock up on water, bread, milk and battery chargers so our cell phones don’t die. Kids stay home from school. We hunker down as the media scares us into thinking it’s the end of the world.
But I think we’re missing something by not embracing what Mother Nature throws at us. I mean, before we could buy everything online, we had no choice but to venture out during the winter, no matter how cold. No matter how many inches. And if we couldn’t get out (which by the way, just because you can buy it online, it won’t get delivered in that kind of weather), we’d dig to the back of the cupboard for those long-forgotten soup cans. And pull through just fine.
My point is, we love our connected world and being infinitely informed. But sometimes, we just need to step away—or rather, out. Shovel a little. Have a snowball fight. Wonder at the magic of the volume Polar Vortex Frosty dumped on us. Because hey, someday we’ll revel in telling stories to our grandkids about the two inches of snow we shoveled … uphill … both ways …
John Gielow, Vice President Director of Digital Strategy