DETROIT — Dr. Michael W. Gray, a Michigan plastic surgeon, seeks to reconstruct social networking by making room for self-awareness. The process doesn’t promise to be painless, but it does promise a path to insight. Pegged, Dr. Gray’s new social media site, intends to be entertaining and fun, but at its core, the intention is to bring people into accountability for their interactions with others, and to offer them opportunities for self-reflection and growth.
More than half of Americans own a profile on a social networking site, and 58 million of those users check in several times per day. Through an interesting twist on the idea of profile creation, Pegged may push those percentages and numbers significantly higher. This is where the pain comes in. Someone else will create a person’s profile on Pegged, and the idea of that may have some people trembling. It is an opinion-built profile. Dr. Gray believes, however, that the site and process can be a tool to make humanity better.
Through his own experiences in both the dating and business worlds, Dr. Gray discovered that it took about six months for a person to reveal their true character. “Knowing matters,” says Dr. Gray, who believes Pegged will save people valuable time by offering them a way to get to know the essence of a person beneath the profile pictures and resumes.
How does it work? Through comments and ratings made by others on a profile created by another, Pegged follows people in their day-to-day lives of social interaction and assigns them a “humanity score.” Over time, a graph will be produced showing the ups and downs of the quality of a person’s interactions. Dr. Gray believes this graph will provide users with valuable information about whether or not to date, hire, work for or join a group with another person. There are many safe-guards built into the system so that no one is being rated based on religion, gender, race, age, or sexual orientation, and there is always the opportunity to respond to any comment. There are fun elements too, like private messaging.
The most controversial element of this platform is that even if a person chooses to live anonymously and social-media-free, unless one avoids people all together, someone will eventually join him or her to the site. “You can live like an Ostrich with your head in the sand and pretend Pegged doesn’t exist, or you can participate and maintain some control through responding to posts about you. Of course you will get people who lie, or who are haters, but in the long run, I believe that if you’re a good person, it’s going to pan out,” Dr. Gray says.
Dalai Lama meets TMZ? Maybe. Pegged is interested in both entertainment and benevolence. Dr. Gray hopes that it will be entertaining to watch the evolution of a person through the Pegged Lifeline. Maybe you will find yourself cheering for someone who finally gets a good review, maybe you will secretly celebrate when the guy who snuck away from your first date never to return gets called out several times more.
One thing we can be absolutely certain of is that the Dalai Lama, if anyone creates a profile for him, will have the highest score. As for the rest of us, this might be a good time to embrace the mantra, “I am not perfect, but I keep trying,” and that may be exactly what Pegged is asking us to do.
Dr. Michael W. Gray was born and raised in New York. He graduated Cum Laude from the University of Miami. He received his Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine from Southeastern University of Health Sciences, and as a surgeon, he is accredited through the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery. Dr. Gray has been a guest speaker and instructor and has written numerous articles to contribute to the field of surgery. Dr. Gray currently resides and works in West Bloomfield where he runs The Michigan Cosmetic Surgery Center and Skin Deep Spa.