Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Thumbs Away!

He has ears, and two eyes and ten fingers,
Leastways if you reckon two thumbs;
Long ago, he was one of the singers,
But now he is one of the dumbs.

Edward Lear, 1812-1888, Book of Nonsense

These days young people are microtexting and micropunching on minuscule keys based on minute print on minature microscreens into micromobile devices using only their thumbs. In my macroscopic world, this smallness electronic revolution poses problems.

Let me give you a thumbnais sketch of my troubles I am over 50. I have fading hearing, dimming eyes, and arthritic megathumbs. My hair is graying. My gray matter is shrinking. These aging problems may effect other doctors over 50 and health reform as well for we are the workhorses of the profession.

To make matters worse, I am, if you’ll pardon a cliché, all thumbs. I fear I am in danger of becoming one of the technological dumbs.

Furthermore, I am a writer. My most recent book is Obama, Doctors, and Health Reform, 2009.

I am also editor-in-chief, Physician Practice Options, and a blogger www.medinnovationsblog.blogspot.com.

These days a writer, editor, and blogger must function electronically. He must,

• keep his eye on the horizon through Google,

• his ear to the ground through the Internet,

• his finger in the wind through blogging, twittering, tweeting, facebooking, social networking, texting, or GPS-ing,

• his mind on the main game through whatever mobile device, gadget, or gizmo is required to stay in touch with the electronic universe.

Furthermore, if he is addicted to books, as I am, he must turn to those new e-book readers like Kindle by Amazon or Nook by Barnes and Noble if he is to explore every nook and cranny of the book universe.

None of this is easy, if he is technologically impaired.

Personally, I can’t make byte-sized mental leaps in a single bound. I don’t see well enough to find the right button to push. I have less than dexterous thumbs to push the right button in the right sequence.

I have trouble being distracted by,

• events taking place around me

• paying attention to motor and people traffic

• conversing with people around me

• communicating with my immediate universe

• being part of the human unwired race.

The world is moving wirelessly, relentlessly, simultaneously, instantaneously at Internet time.

I live in standard time and am in constant fear of being left behind. The faster the Internet moves, the behinder I get. I am having trouble thumbing my way along the electronic highway.

As a writer,editor,and blogger, when it comes to the Internet, I must decide. Thumbs up? Thumbs down? Thumbs while texting? Or Thumbs away!

Should I just Thumb my nose at it all and go back to the pen and paper.

Please advise.

Dr. Richard Reece is author, blogger, speaker, and innovation and reform commentator. Dr. Reece’s latest book, Obama, Doctors, and Health Reform (IUniverse.com) is available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and booksamillion.com for $31.95 (hardcover), $21.95 (softcover), and $6.95 (electronic). For information on speaking fees and arrangements, call 860-395-1501.

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