Monthly Archives: October 2015

Peeple: The App with a Bitter Twist in the Tech Race

Coming up with that “game-changer” app in today’s tech world is getting more and more difficult. We have an online marketplace (Amazon), an online search directory (Google), online mailboxes (e-mail), a slew of software to help with dating, hook ups and true romance (Plenty of Fish, eHarmony, OKCupid, Tinder….take your pick). We even have a review website dedicated solely to reviewing everything from restaurants to department stores (Yelp!). So the first question I asked my friends when the announcement came that a “yelp for people” app was just launched was, “are you surprised?”

It was only a matter of time before someone got the idea to close the gap on the lack of socialization with an app that makes it completely justifiable to not talk to anyone. I was always wondering what app was going to come around to commercialize social interactions. It seems that the people at ‘Peeple,’ took up that challenge.

If you’re wondering what “Peeple” is, it is a new smart-phone application created by Nicole McCullough and Julia Cordra that allows you to rate people much like you would a restaurant on Yelp. There are stars, comments and even a feature that allows for a negative “review of yourself” to be answered to. According to a Washington Post interview, Julia Cordray said of the app: “People do so much research when they buy a car or make those kinds of decisions. Why not do the same kind of research on other aspects of your life?”

Did she just compare a car to a human’s mind, characteristics, and personality?

The general public will have its time to comment on the new app, but the general reception on the Internet hasn’t been favorable for the two co-founders. Scathing reviews  have been left on the app’s Facebook page from hundreds of people who are not sold on the idea of giving their exes, acquaintances and bad dates the chance to smack talk them on the largest public forum on Earth (by that last statement, I meant the Internet).

We’re going to watch how this social event proceeds in the coming month before we can analyze in greater detail. Even if this app flounders, it has sparked the conversation of the possibilities in social interaction and what can be achieved when people will do anything in their power to avoid human communication. I can just imagine the future of dating:

Enamored Boy: ” You do have a beautiful smile. I’d love to take you to dinner. What about this Saturday at eight?”

Equally enamored Girl: “I would love that,” she says with flushed cheeks.

Two-hours later – via text

Equally enamored Girl (now not so enamored): “Hey. I changed my mind on Saturday.”

Confused, yet still enamored Boy: “Oh? Does Friday work out better?”

Girl: “No. No day works out better. Don’t call me, please.”

Boy: “What? Why not?”

Girl: ” It’s nothing. I just changed my mind.”

Boy: “But why?”

Girl: ” Because you’re cheap as Hell!”

Boy: “What?!”

Girl: ” I saw your Peeple profile.”

Boy: “And?”

Girl: “Yeah, well, it looks like you tried to split the bill when you were dating some girl who left a review about your dating capabilities. She gave you 2 stars.”

Boy: “That was my ex. We dated for 4 years. We split the bill all the time.”

Girl: “It doesn’t say that you two dated. I don’t believe you.”

Ah, the fantasy of belief that a barrier in social interaction via a piece of technology will somehow make us more open to socialize with eachother. It’s cherry picking at best, and twisted social surveillance at worst. Let’s hope that we don’t read an article soon stating, ” 2020 Presidential candidate scores 3.2 on smart-phone app. Many question validity of candidacy!”

Be Bold.

I’ve got this set of guidelines I keep in my journal. I wrote it nearly three years ago. Each point was the culmination of certain truths I saw as necessary for one to live their life in the most robust way possible. In their conversations. In the way they worked. In the way they explored the mysteries and routines found in the everyday of their lives. There were four points. It won’t always stay at four, but it’s not a list that is easily added to, for they represent truths about life that are universal, and truths that cannot be excused. Truths that have lines of grey and can be bent are no truths at all, and are not included.

One of these I’d like to mention here, is the very first one. A truth I found to be the most honest in enjoying a full breath, and overall breadth of life.

In all your actions, be bold.

I became interested around twelve, or the time of a pubescent teen absorbing anything different in life to stand out. The phrase: Audentes fortuna iuvat comes to mind. I repeated it before I knew what the words meant. It just sounded cool because it was Latin. Then I got to high school.

Talk about a typhoon of emotions, cliques, friendships, romance, pride, domination struggle, and socializing. I failed at most. I exceeded in pretending. I’ve always held a fake smile for the world. It was easier for me to invest little in them, but get by until I reach the shore. But I never knew what the shore was, or where it was – I just swam along with my personalities, and smiles. They were some empty years from the inside. I left high-school with few friends, and even less memories of great times and cherished events. This was my mistake. I spent so much time pretending, that I never stood steadfast behind my own personality.

You’re going to have a lot of enemies in life. Some you know about, others that operate in the shadows. Giving ‘defeat’ the advantage by making yourself the enemy from within is a surefire way to lose the war before it has been fought.

Fast forward.

Being bold isn’t a task – it’s a philosophy. To be bold, you must first define what the word means, and all it encompasses. Bold – being, showing confidence; not afraid; lack of fear.

Some confuse boldness with aggression and crass behavior. In order to be bold, from what they say and how they act, one must be relentless – a brute. These confusions are not mutations of boldness, they are their own behaviors. To be bold is to be confident in what you say because that which is behind your actions is that which reigns true in your soul. One cannot adopt boldness, you must become it, and be it – just like the skin wrapped around your flesh and bones.

Be bold in your actions, because everything in life that is worth it to you, should be given your all. There is simply no time in life for anything less than your very best. To understand this is to realize that you will die one day. Take a moment to read that sentence again slowly, and carefully. It is a bold and simple statement. Read it with difficulty, read with fear, read it with caution. But read it, and realize it.

Now ask yourself again why you are holding yourself back from certain things. Don’t ask all at once, you’ll never answer correctly or in full. But ask in each situation nonetheless.

Ask before, during and after a conversation. Before, during, and after a casual meeting, a professional meeting, a romantic meeting. Then answer.

Answer why you haven’t told them (them is different for you all) that you love having them in your life. That they make you happy. That if there was one person that understood them, that could connect with you, it was them. Tell them.

Answer why you haven’t told your boss how to do some task better, even when you have the evidence in front of you! Answer why you haven’t engaged in the growth of your own career because you’ve listened to 30 year veterans in the industry that say: “in time, just play it safe.” Or, “we’ve always done it like this.” Being bold has nothing to do with playing it safe. It has to do with giving something your everything, your all. Not when the odds are stacked up against you. In boldness, odds are for the boldless to contemplate. If it feels right to you – act boldly.

Examples abound, with an endless surplus to be provided – I must stop here. For boldness is no longer a word after one accepts it – it is a way of life. It is a way to live a life where your curiosities are explored, when your emotions are expressed and felt, and how your feeling of contemplation and anxiety are put to rest by your decision to plunge forward and break through those walls of doubt.

In your actions, be bold. Your life deserves nothing less.

The Ticket

We get to enjoy all these things – emotions, wealth , and power. We can dabble in all of them – we can become any one thing. The only price that existence asks is for life. We must cash in our ticket for this roller coaster of a ride – our ups, our downs, our screams, our euphoria – we must stand in line before the existence of this experience. Not knowing what to expect, for those feelings do not exist within us yet. Those memories which we will make do not compute, for we have no means to make them compute. Then, our turn comes, and we sit in those seats. We’re strapped in to our chairs, and locked into our places. We rise to the drop, we climb to the peak. And before we drop, we become a void of memory where we know nothing of what to expect. Then we drop, into this world of twists and turns, never knowing when to hang on, or when to throw our hands into the air and scream with excitement, or grip the bars with terror. We go through and through these ups and downs, soon finding ourselves to understand the drops ahead, a little bit wiser, and a little more prepared. By the end of the ride we are exhausted and indifferent. We see the ride, with all its hot rails, and glory. We descend and slow on the rails. We approach the same darkness we came from before the lurch of the cart and start of the ride. We see new faces. We see the excitement of those standing in line, eager to give their ticket for that chance to feel what we have experienced. We see faces. Some full of fright, some full of excitement, and some full of bewildering blankness – but, they all maintain to be full of the same life that we who have ridden the roller coaster: had, have, and for the next moment until we get off this ride to allow for the new generation of riders, still linger with. Behind our eyes we feel wiser with this experience. They ask us in the moment, how it was. What to expect. Any tips from our battle stripes of knowledge- and in the moment as we are pushed down the exit lane, we answer as many as we can. We had no time to contemplate it. We had no time, except that moment until we saw the ending to understand it. We had analysis of its effect on us as a whole. We simply rode the roller coaster that is our life, and we had our experience – our own, our own, our own – experience. And, now, as we turn our backs to the humming excitement and growling stomachs about to enter the drop of the roller coaster we have stepped off, we turn around for one last smile, and one last glimpse of the ride we have just witnessed – first hand on the edge. Some of us smile, some of us linger quietly, some of us laugh – but all of us keep moving along – exiting just the same – and remember the Summer rays and blast of cool wind blowing in our face before the drop.