Seth Godin got me thinking. Too many health care professionals are deliberately uninformed about online health and social media. This bothers me greatly.
Seth has a rant today that struck a nerve with me. You can read it here: Deliberately uninformed, relentlessly so [a rant]
Here are a few excerpts that got my attention:
It’s clearly a deliberate act–in our infoculture, it takes work not to expose yourself to interesting ideas, facts, news and points of view….
More people than ever go to work to use their minds, not just their hands. And more people than ever have a platform to share their point of view. I think that raises the bar for our understanding of how the world works….
Let’s assert for the moment that you get paid to create, manipulate or spread ideas. That you don’t get paid to lift bricks or hammer steel. If you’re in the idea business, what’s going to improve your career, get you a better job, more respect or a happier day? Forgive me for suggesting (to those not curious enough to read this blog and others) that it might be reading blogs, books or even watching TED talks.
His rant inspires my rant. This is actually a rant I share with my husband on a weekly basis and he’s just as baffled as I am.
The rant happens in the kitchen as we’re cleaning up after dinner and goes like this:
“How can some of the most educated people in the world – doctors and psychotherapists – not be curious about social media? How do they function without checking email daily? How come they’re not searching Google for ideas on how to use technology to help more people?? Where are they? Do they live under a rock? (I actually do, in fact, say this) NPR has Twitter and Facebook accounts, so do CNN, NASA, and the President of the United States. Our son’s 1st grade teacher sends all communication by email and a blog. How can someone miss this? How can a whole profession not be online and using social media!?”
I know I am preaching to a choir because you are here. You are curious and you are learning and you are using the internet to make a difference. But many of you have lamented about the fact that your colleagues are not here and don’t want to be and many discourage you from being here.
Seth says it best – “Uninformed – relentlessly so.”
To be ignorant of all that is going on with connected health is a problem. Taking pride that a practice “doesn’t do” email or social media is wrong. To “not know any better” is lazy. All the information is literally at our finger tips and most of it is free.
Sure, it takes time to learn. But if you knew you could create an intervention that helped thousands of people world-wide and it would cost next to nothing to offer it, as long as you took a few hours to figure out how it worked, shouldn’t you do that?
We all take an oath to “Do no harm.” By staying ignorant of the online world, who do we help? It may not harm, but it certainly doesn’t improve anyone’s treatment. (However, if you work with young people, not understanding social media CAN cause harm because you have no idea what’s going on in their social lives).
To all of you who are here and dedicating yourself to becoming informed – thank you. You get it and care about the people you want to help.
I ask that you reach out to your colleagues, graduate schools and associations and nudge them toward being informed, and proactive in educating their students and members to learn about the power of the internet and social media in the lives of their clients.
Speak up, demand CE courses on these topics (I offer some), ask for conferences (online and in the community) that educate the group. Use your money to get your point across.
[Side rant: I resigned from a national organization because they don’t talk about online issues and when I offered to speak to the members I was ignored and dismissed. I plan to resign from another this year because, despite my offers to set up their website to look like it wasn’t designed by a high school junior, they choose have an online presense that looks like crap. Why should I pay $400 to an organization who can’t update a website? I work alone and can update mine. They collect hundreds of thousands of dollars and year in dues and can’t invest less than $1000 to have a decent website? My money isn’t being spent well, so I will take my $400 and make my site prettier 🙂 ]
Bottom line: If you’re paying good money to an organization and they’re not teaching you about online practice in the 21st century, stop paying them NOW. Write a letter to tell them why. They are not serving you or the people they profess to want to help.
People need us to be informed and we have no excuse – none.
You’re smart and compassionate, now I’m asking you to be an advocate for what you know to be true – our profession won’t get the respect it deserves until we push ourselves forward and join the rest of the world as tech savvy and plugged in.
It matters and hiding under a rock isn’t acceptable.
If you want to change the world and help spread the word about online mental health, let’s talk. I’d love to speak to your organization or class. I’ve been known to offer free coaching at events too…. Click here for more info.