Home » Dr. Jayne » Currently Reading:

Curbside Consult with Dr. Jayne 8/25/14

August 25, 2014 Dr. Jayne 6 Comments

clip_image002

I usually start my day with a bagel and the local news, courtesy of a newspaper website. Once I catch up on homefront happenings (the comments are usually more entertaining than the articles they accompany) I hit a couple of national websites.

In the course of my usual surfing, I came across a link to “The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection.” I was able to find a couple of reviews and it looks like it will probably be one of my next reads.

Author Michael Harris looks at people born before 1985, namely because they “know what life is like both with the Internet and without.” For non-IT professionals and the general consumer base, I’d broaden that to include those that experienced life BC and AC: before computers and after.

I enjoy history, but never thought of myself as having lived through a major transformation. Don’t get me wrong — there have been many sociopolitical changes in the last few decades, but I missed out on the moon landing and other key “tech” touchstones.

I remember thinking some years ago about my great grandfather (who was born in the late 1800s and died in his 90s) and all he had seen in his life: from the Wright Brothers to the Concorde, and from Sputnik to space stations. He also saw the progression from the crank-powered phone to the cell phone and many other advances. At the time I thought of how cool that would be – to see that kind of change – and I also remember thinking that technology had come so far that I couldn’t fathom something that revolutionary.

Back then, broadband Internet was available, but it wasn’t a fixture in peoples’ daily lives like it is now. There was no Facebook, no Twitter, no cell phones in every person’s pocket. The iPod had barely been invented and it was for music only. We didn’t know we were on the cusp of an information revolution.

I was talking about this idea with a friend of mine over lunch yesterday. She has kids in middle and high school and was joking about the classic “back in my day, we rode dinosaurs to school uphill both ways” sayings she finds herself throwing at them. We talked about when we were exposed to our first computers (Commodore 64, anyone? TI-99? Apple II?) and what kids of today would think if they saw them in action compared to the smartphone firepower in everyone’s pockets. It used to be a major undertaking to put a computer lab in a school and now it’s expected.

Still, there are completely different sets of issues that today’s kids are dealing with involving technology and its appropriate use or lack thereof. At my friend’s local school, some teachers demand that students use technology in the classrooms and others ban it. I can only assume that the pre/post Internet generation gap might have something to do with it.

In thinking about my physicians who complain about the EHR, I don’t see a clear line age-wise. At least in our group, some of the older physicians tend to be more forgiving of the software’s shortcomings, perhaps because they expect less than the more tech-savvy physicians who tend to be younger. It would be interesting to do some actual research on their attitudes and opinions regarding technology in general as well as the EHR, but I’m not likely to find the time (or funding) to do something like that anytime soon.

One of the other concepts the book addresses is how people now use technology to quantify their self worth. I know the HIStalk team enjoys seeing how many Facebook friends, LinkedIn connections, and Twitter followers we have, but we don’t let it drive who we are.

I’ve seen multiple discussions on physician forums looking at teenagers who have significant psychological issues that stem from interactions with social media. One might infer that those of us in the “before” column had established our own sense of self independently of that kind of input, where those in the “after” column “lose the ability to decide for ourselves what we think about who we are,” according to the review’s interview with Harris.

I mentioned my own run-in with the “quantified self” after my running GPS was waterlogged. Being able to translate subjective experiences such as daily activities into actionable numbers is a powerful thing. It’s made a tremendous difference in my health and well-being, but I can see how data points might be overwhelming or discouraging to some. I can’t run a half marathon as fast as I could three years ago, but I can chalk that up to a bad knee and an uncooperative training schedule rather than letting it get me down.

Harris ends up taking a month off from the Internet while writing the book. Most of us could never do that for occupational reasons, but I like the idea of the challenge. As a physician, I frequently ask patients to limit “screen time” for their children. For many adults, it might be time to do the same. A quick search of ICD-10 codes fails to reveal much Internet-specific pathology, but we’ll have to see what ICD-11 brings.

Who’s with me for some time off the ‘net? Email me.

Email Dr. Jayne.

View/Print Text Only View/Print Text Only


HIStalk Featured Sponsors

     

Currently there are "6 comments" on this Article:

  1. See C.S. Lewis Screwtape Letters.
    http://blissthefamily.wordpress.com/2009/09/29/noise/

    In the 1940s, C.S. Lewis penned a series of writings, which originally appeared in a newsletter. These letters were the correspondence between a senior level devil named Screwtape, and his apprentice devil, his nephew Wormwood. The 31 letters were later published in the form of a book entitled “The Screwtape Letters.”

    In the letters, Screwtape is advising Wormwood about the procedure for winning a soul away from God, and toward hell both on earth and in eternity. Screwtape explains to him that there are methods that have long been used and established. One such method, Screwtape explains, is to create so much noise in the life of the man that he can no longer hear the voice of God. In one letter, the senior devil announces:

    “Noise, the grand dynamism, the audible expression of all that is exulant, ruthless, and virile –Noise which alone defends us from silly qualms, dispairing scruples and impossible desires. We will make the whole universe a noise in the end. We have already made great strides in this direction as regards to the Earth. The melodies and silences of heaven will be shouted down in the end. But I admit we are not yet loud enough, or anything like it. Research is in progress.”

    TV, cell phones, internet, streaming… Apple iPhone, iPad, iOS….and we all follow….

  2. I recall a time when one search hit was like finding a golden egg because every hit mattered – and you only needed one (mostly university content was on the web.) Contemporary searches now get millions of hits; worthless, commercial hits. I’d suggest that the research is not only “In”, but is now widely implemented.







Subscribe to Updates

Search


Loading

Text Ads


Report News and Rumors

No title

Anonymous online form
E-mail
Rumor line: 801.HIT.NEWS

Tweets

Archives

Founding Sponsors


 

Platinum Sponsors


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gold Sponsors


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reader Comments

  • Anonymous: Thanks for sharing the article on hospital architecture! On a recent walkthrough of a brand new multimillion dollar ...
  • David Dieterich: Thank you Mr. H for reminding readers of what Memorial Day is about. - A Gold Star family member....
  • Will Weider: Wait, I thought Walgreens was going to put all of the traditional medical groups out of business?...
  • Right Said Fred: Fred's right on the money here. I vividly recall one of Epic's TLMMs (Team Lead Management Meeting - a meeting where...
  • Elizabeth H. H. Holmes: My personal opinion is that burnout is most directly influenced by the relationship you have with your direct manager, a...
  • HISJunkie: Is Epic still growing, not if you read between the lines. Last year they said they hired 400 new employees. Now they say...
  • Vaporware?: Mr. H, you can add this little propaganda gem to your file of Top 10 Euphemisms (emphasis mine). You have one of those f...
  • Fred: Epic's response to burnout is precious. Yes, everyone is happy and challenged, excluding of course the thousands who hav...
  • Brian Too: Any complex software that you spend a lot of time in, you'd better learn it well. Most people do that but if you invest...
  • AC: I don't believe they give you raw click numbers yet (only PEP/NEAT score), although I think Feb 2019 release is bringing...

Sponsor Quick Links