Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Aleksandar Cvetanovic on Unsplash

How many times have you stared at a blank page, wishing for the perfect, award-winning combination of words to appear in your mind?

I’ve been there. I used to hate the advice I got when I was creatively blocked — “Just start!” “Write something, even if it’s bad!” Fuck you, I would think, I want to be a good writer, not a bad one. I want the New York Times to call my writing groundbreaking and touching and hilarious. I want the Pulitzer committee to beg me to accept their prize and take me out to dinner. …


Image for post
Image for post

Yesterday, I saw an old friend from college, which was like opening a time capsule because we hadn’t spoken in years. It reminded me of my college self — honest, excited, and friendly — and I realized the person I am now is a hollow shell of who I used to be. Because of Facebook.

How did this happen? When I was a kid, it was my dream to work at Facebook. I loved computers, I was on Facebook all the time, and of course, I had heard the tales about the fun culture. The endless snacks! Wearing a hoodie…


Image for post
Image for post

When I was younger, I thought getting into a good college was my goal in life. I had your typical tiger parents (except, back then, they were just “parents”). I have a distinct memory of being five years old and getting ready for bed. My dad was quizzing me as I brushed my teeth with sparkly fruity toothpaste, the kind for kids. “What colleges are you going to apply to?” Even then, I knew the answer: “Harvard, Yale, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, and mayyybe Berkeley.”

Fast forward thirteen years, and, I got in. You would think that this would have made…

Brian Chen

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store