This past week was a pretty exciting, relatively controversial week for people interested in Health Care in Social Media. If you don’t know what happened, you can listen to Dr. Mike Sevilla’s podcast about it here. Although it is certainly not the end of the discussion, there has been a new flurry of activity today since MommyDoctor (@mommy_doctor) has apparently deleted her Twitter account.
In my opinion, the “system” (i.e., social media and the exuberant discussion that occurred) worked perfectly. It worked just like it should. I am not trying to insinuate that I am “pro” Dr. Vartabedian (@Doctor_V) and “anti” MommyDoctor. On the contrary, I have been listening intently to both sides.
How did the system work perfectly?
- We the participants (@Doctor_V, @mommy_doctor, and everyone who commented about the debate) were all at liberty to say what was on our minds.
- We were at liberty to act in a way that best suited their values in response to what was said. People listened and stayed out, choosing sides or not. Some took sides, some quite verbally. Some commented without taking a specific side.
- In brief, we engaged in a great, open discussion.
Both Dr. V and MommyDoctor chose to enter social media, blog and tweet. Neither was forced to do so. They did so in the fashion they felt was appropriate. Both were at liberty to comment on the other’s posts. MommyDoctor chose to tweet what she did, Dr. V chose to call her out publicly. Dr. V took one approach, MommyDoctor took another.
And we chose to comment. Many people chose to use their freedom of expression to lambast him for lambasting her. However, if we don’t think it’s right to call someone out and be the “police” of Social Media, then what makes it right to tell someone else that they were wrong to speak out? It’s sort of contradicting ourselves.
As a result of the brouhaha, Dr. V took one action (remained steadfast in his convictions), and MommyDoctor took another (decided to leave the space). But don’t mistake choice for an obligation. MommyDoctor was not “forced” to leave. Was she “bullied” as some would suggest? If a single blogpost constitutes bullying in your mind then I can see how you’d think that. Nonetheless, at no point did Dr. V request that MommyDoctor go away. She listened to the community and took the action that best suited her values. It was her own choice.