We’re all unique? Right?


You are not special. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else. We’re all part of the same compost heap. We are the all singing, all dancing crap of the world.

– Chuck Palahniuk – Fight Club

When I find some time to sit at home and do nothing at all I find myself in a cycle of social media: Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Vine, Pinterest and repeat. I found myself in this cycle for almost an hour last night and scanning through tweets and posts and pictures and vines it quickly became clear that most of the content posted by my peers is recycled. Finding an original thought or picture or joke is a rarity. At this point in the internet revolution if you do have an original thought its probably somewhere out there already. We use song lyrics to describe our feelings, we use words of famous people to inspire ourselves, we use memes to present our humor, and we dress and do our hair and makeup like Tumblr girls do.

I’m slowly realizing how lost my generation is (myself included). Past generations of young people have had something to guide them, a war or a great movement to define them. We are the first generation in a long time without a great event or movement to guide our dress, speech, values, and beliefs. Our generation is wandering trying to find something to grasp on and define us as a group, something that makes US great and memorable. Instead of making ourselves great we trace the actions and words of other great people who came before us. There are 7 billion people in the world; the idea that we are unique little snowflakes is a long shot. But is there any chance for us to be truly unique when everything we put out into the world is recycled?

There’s an app for that


A few days ago my roommate and myself were sitting in our apartment, trying to find a cure for Sunday boredom. The situation went as follows:

Roommate: What’s on tv?
Me: I don’t know, let me check the TV guide app. There’s no good football games on.
R: Let me see if there’s any good wing deals on the Party Tutor app maybe we can watch the game somewhere.
M: Alright. I just checked ScoreCenter both of our teams play next week.
R: Are you hungry?
Simultaneously: URBANSPOON

This conversation all took place over several minutes as we both flipped through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, I posted a selfie, beat a few levels of Candy Crush Saga, and bought a phone case on Amazon for $2.35.

Why is this important?
The International Data Corportation (IDC) predicts that over 76.9 billion app downloads will occur by 2014 and it will be a $35 billion dollar industry. According to this inforgraphic, where you can find more information, the average smartphone user has 22 apps on their deck and the average iPhone user has 37 apps on their deck.

My point being: apps are PERVASIVE, there is an app for everything these days from banking to games to restaurants to movie theater times and it is a relevant industry, both personally and financially. Apps are designed to make life easier, and as you can see from my conversation with my roommate they do accomplish that goal. But my question is, as apps make life easier do they make you lazier?

Today there is literally nothing I can’t do without the use of an app.
Because of WellsFargo Mobile I literally never have to go to a bank teller to deposit a check. Because of this, I quite literally don’t know how to deposit a check.
Because of Evernote, I don’t have to print out the notes I take on my computer because they sync automatically to my phone.
Thanks to Dominos, I don’t have to call anyone to order a pizza.
Thanks to Yelp and Urbanspoon I never have to ask a friend about what restaurant or business they recommend.
Because of the TVGuide app, I don’t even have to look at the guide on my TV.
Thanks to Google Maps I can visit a whole city on foot, alone, without having to communicate with a single person.
I can live almost my entire life without even looking up from my phone, my apps guide me through every aspect of my life. And while this makes life greatly convenient, I can’t help but notice how app technology hinders development of life and communication skills.