The Power of Social Media

Last night I ran a bit of an experiment on medlibs chat on twitter. I noticed quite a few anti-circumcision tweets during on the AAMC feed during the 2012 meeting and I thought it quite odd. After all, I’m not sure a general meeting on medical education is the best place to push those concerns. Maybe a pediatrics meeting would be better. Anyway, I mentioned the meeting hash tag and within 30 min I had 3 responses from anti-circumcision accounts, despite the meeting being over 6 days ago.  I already had a sense of how far things travel on the Internet but this is one more anecdotal account of how far our words can travel.

But I wonder if maybe the groups in question should be a bit more careful about how they push their message.  Saying that circumcision is an important issue and people want to stifle opposition is not going to change anyone’s mind.  Listing evidence to support your viewpoint when talking with medical professionals or medical librarians is more likely to get your point across.

Back in the 1990s when the Internet and email were young, I learned I had to be careful about what I write. Somebody forwarded a private email to a group, and I had been a little too honest about another manager at my workplace. Then I discovered that listservs have vendors subscribing as well as librarians. More recently, a couple of my tweets have been picked up by the journal and software program I mentioned. So it behooves us to be careful as we tweet and post and comment.

 

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