You cannot “Like” me.

Do you remember the Internet? I am old. Or old-ish. Approaching 40 now. And I remember the Internet before it consisted entirely of porn and shopping. Not that I don’t enjoy all the access to free porn, but the Internet…or I guess the entirety of modern Social Media bothers me.

When I was a little boy, my mom bought me a commodore 64. Coolest thing in the world. By far the best Christmas present I ever got was  a Commodore 64 tape drive ( I learned basic and programmed for hours. “Peeking” and “Poking”…if you remember that, you are old like me. And I was a fairly good self-taught programmer even as a child.

Then I stopped. I still have a computer that I used for the occasional game or whatnot, but I lost interest in computers as my hormones took control. I was much more interested in people. So that by the time I got to college everyone had email when I still had no idea what email was. And you know, my world didn’t really miss it. When people would drive from out of town to see you, they would say “we’ll be there between 6:00 and 8:00”. And so you waited for them without expecting a phone call or text update every half hour.

So it all worked. But I did actually become very interested in computers again in college. I thought I was going to be pre-med but then just didn’t because I was tired of school. You can only learn so much in college and I was there for too many years. College is basically a big expensive babysitter and a poor financial investment. I switched my major to computer science and graduated rather quickly with a degree. One thing that I found was that I have a knack for programming. These kinds of problems are the kinds of problems my mind loves. And I have easily wiled away months of my life on some stupid project such as writing my first chess game (in college…it was called “My Dog Plays Chess” and I was so happy the first time it beat me) or working on these apps.

After a string of strange jobs (janitor, bookstore, nude art model, waiter, bartender) I did eventually end up going to medical school “to help people”. Worst mistake I’ve ever made. If college is a terrible financial investment, then medical school is an even worse one.  But when “you want to help people” it is the thing to do.
Now I stop and look and the world of the internet has evolved. My perspective of it comes from the fact that I tend to jump in and out of the Internet world. So it always appears to have changed dramatically when I stop to think about it.

And as of now…you cannot “Like” me. I have no Facebook page. I have no twitter account. This webpage in and of itself is an homage to the web pages I remember first seeing in college. Simple and hoping being filled with content rather than advertisements. This is a business, don’t get me wrong. But it is a business born out of love rather than a desire to screw you out of every penny I can get. I received two teaching awards in Residency and this project feels like an extension of that. You can email me and we can talk about suggestions for apps/projects. But I will not tweet you what we are working on currently. And I do not want you to tweet me ever, because if you want to talk, lets actually write out some real words. I do not have a Facebook page as of yet, but people tell me “No company is complete without one”. Really!? I just don’t get it. Do you really need to “Like” the Facebook page of your dry-cleaners. Does your muffler shop really need to update you constantly on their specials. I think the concept is ridiculous. It will eventually happen to me, I know it. But I will go begrudgingly and sarcastically.

I hate generational stereotypes. But I’m going to go ahead and make some. I was part of the lucky generation. We played with computers. We learned to embrace them. But we also remember a world that worked without being in constant communication with people known and unknown. It was a world of peaceful interludes between activities that gave us time to think. That time is lost now as I watch people stare at their phones checking account after account looking for something to interact with. But the interaction is relatively meaningless. “How is your dog doing?” “How was Mary’s school play?” “How is dad’s gallbladder?” These are things that if you really cared you could be involved in in a much deeper way in person. But there is this new ability to be updated constantly without being involved. You can judge and predict without investment in the outcome. That is sad for me. And the look of anxiety just before people reach for their phone is amazing. It really does look like an addiction from the outside staring in.
And maybe that is the one good thing that has come out of the modern social media revolution. People are so entranced in their phones they don’t notice the people around them. And so you can now totally check a cute girl out for as long as you want and she never notices.

Just kidding Melissa (my wife).



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Last Updated March 7, 2014