‘Are you still wasting your time on Twitter?’
What surprised me was that this (rhetorical) question was put to me, not by an elder lemon colleague approaching retirement, but a freshly minted colleague in his early thirties. Then I saw this Tweet from the Med2.0 conference;
Audience member says 86% of docs surveyed in a large medical practice feelsocial media is a waste of time #med2
— Pat Rich (@cmaer) September 15, 2012
As someone who spends a lot of his time on Twitter, it hurts a little to think that the majority of my colleagues might think I might be wasting my time.
Engaging in health related activities on social media channels is the most important thing I have done for my medical education since completing my specialist training. It has renewed my fascination for healthcare in a way I haven’t felt since I was a medical student and doing so, has undoubtedly quelled a mid-life ennui with my career. It has transformed the way I learn (where I had all but stopped learning) and introduced me to new an interesting friends.
I readily admit that I have also become somewhat evangelical about my conversion to this new found faith; I have even taken to trying to convert unsuspecting medical buddies of mine to the raptures of social media over a beer or at dinner parties. It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if some of them were avoiding me.
I’m not naiive though. I believe that most doctors of my generation are unlikely to embrace social media in the way I have. Unlike the current crop of medical students and graduates (for whom on-line life is a natural extension of themselves) my generation will see the learning curve will be seen as too steep and too time consuming, and the medium untested and fraught with pitfalls.
Those of us who have already seen the light have a responsibility to spread the word and we’ve got to start somewhere. If the above commentator is right, 14% of doctors don’t think its a waste of time.
Now if I could only spot them at parties….