I am not a (medical) doctor. Nor do I play one on TV. It puzzled me, therefore, when I received an email addressing me as “Dear Healthcare provider.” I like to think that maybe this blog does help a person or two from time to time, but I’m not going to dispense medical devices. The email was telling me where I could order Covid-19 tests in bulk, and it even contained a sell-sheet with facts and figures. Now I want to see this pandemic over, just like everybody else, but I’m not sure that having my own supply of Covid tests would do anybody any good at all. Perhaps this is just a continuation of the larger issue of wondering who exactly the internet thinks I am.
One thing the pandemic has done has been to double us down on our reliance on the internet. It’s difficult to imagine how we might’ve survived without it. More jobs—many more—would certainly have been lost if we couldn’t have started to work remotely. In order for any of this to function, however, we have to have a sense of who we are and what we do. I’m not a professional blogger, of course. I’ve discovered from my own extended time on the internet that many people just a few years younger than me make a living as “content providers.” They launch a successful YouTube channel (or maybe two or more), and blog, podcast, or otherwise just dispense their homegrown wisdom into a job. Some have college degrees, but many don’t. The ones I see make a better living doing this than several college grads I know.
You are who the internet makes you in these remote times. Hasn’t most of our reality become remote? We rely on content that others, or sometimes we ourselves, make. We get our news here and we find our directions here. We order the things we need here and the delivery drivers find our addresses here. Yes, we can even get our medical service taken care of here. Fortunately I personally haven’t had to talk to a doctor online, but I know people who have. Personally I find it more reassuring when someone with special training takes a look at the area of concern, and perhaps can touch it and tell me what to do about it. I’m glad the internet option exists, however. I just hope that people don’t start thinking I’m that kind of doctor.