My usual response to Twitter goes something like this:
- See interesting point/comment
- Get involved in interesting discussion (usually medical; sometimes political; occasionally cat-related)
- Trundle along quite happily
- Get completely thrown by comment (usually re: doctors or the NHS)
- Realise that I have (yet again) fallen into the trap of believing that I’m a half-way decent person who is open-minded and doesn’t live in the bubble… except that I do
- Slink away to try and re-set my brain and process the new information
- Reconnect with social media
- Start the cycle from #1 all over again. And repeat. And repeat
The comments that I struggle with are always ones that attack (?) something that I think is important. I’m getting better at dealing with the ones that are political (although I cannot comprehend the logic that says that some children are more deserving of food, warmth, and life than others because they happen to be born in a particular part of the world. Still struggling with that one. Not going to get my head around that any time soon. Or the thought process that states that the more guns are available, the less likely you are to get shot. I’m shaking a little just trying to fathom exactly how that one works).
The comments that make me turn and hide are the ones that are personal; the ones that challenge my values. The discussions about “you lot” as though by being a doctor I’ve made a choice to detach myself from the rest of humanity (Why is it considered socially acceptable to refer to healthcare professionals as “you people”? It happens to lots of groups… but I hadn’t realised that it was acceptable to do so.) The comments that don’t let me pontificate in my head about how it’s all about patient care; how healthcare professionals always work for the best for their patients; how “we” do things differently…
Oh yeah… “we”
I struggle with social media because it’s challenging.
And it’s a lot easier to rationalise in my head that:
- The real world isn’t like that (“Of course I don’t see myself as different”)
- I/we would never act like that (“I don’t talk about patients like that” Except of course, I’ve just referred to “patients” as a single homogenous group who can be “talked about”…)
Every so often, usually when I’m engrossed in some Twitter discussion or fuming about a particular comment my partner will suggest that I block or mute people. It’s tempting. And sometimes I do delete my apps and sign-out of all my social media stuff (apart from Instagram – because that’s mainly cats and pole-dancers) and sit in my own head for a bit.
And then I start to wonder how far in my bubble I’m living… So I come back
I don’t have any neat profundities to sum this up. Except that I’ll keep running through the social media cycle. I’ll take Twitter-holidays when I need to, but I’ll be back when I have the resilience to be challenged again. And I’ll keep f@*king it up.
Bear with me?