April 15, 2015 Leave a comment
Much can be written–and has been written–about the perverse behaviors and relationships that can form around social media. Anyone who has spent time blogging or tweeting can tell you about being verbally blasted by trolls.
But I’m here to write about, briefly, the greatness of social media: the way it can make the world flat, to borrow a concept of Thomas Friedman’s.
Time differences and geography need not be a barrier to forging powerful relationships, and I’m reminded of that strongly today.
It is the first day of the annual meeting of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, and it’s already shaped up to be a great one. I just wrapped up a faculty development session and am soon to sit down and hear some of the world’s experts on football medicine (that’s soccer to us Yanks).
When I was checking in, the first person I wanted to meet was @TheAMSSM, a.k.a. @PamTekaDegraw…or, rather, Tekia Thompson, the communications manager and one of the fabulous staff of the AMSSM. I’ve communicated with Pam for months via email at times, but mostly via direct message on twitter; we’ve chatted about a variety of issues relating to AMSSM and CJSM. I feel as if I have come to know her. Nothing can replace the excitement of finally meeting her first hand; but as I reflect on how we’ve become colleagues and friends, I realize the warmth of our greeting today was informed by a true sense of a relationship already formed…..thanks to twitter.
The same situation applies to my growing collaborations with Jon Patricios, as I wrote in one of my more recent blog posts. We’ve skyped, and emailed, and tweeted; I’ve conducted a podcast interview with him. We’ve worked on one talk and will do so with another at the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) in a month. I’ll see him here in Florida (he is the South African travelling fellow to AMSSM) and I’ll get to see him later this year in South Africa (I’ll be one of two travelling fellows to SASMA). But for all of this, I may have met Jon I think physically 2 or 3 times–the depth of our relationship owes to the ‘flatness’ of the virtual world.
The subject of that ACSM talk is the power of social media for sports medicine clinicians, and if you’re in San Diego for the conference be sure to hear from Jon and AMSSM member @MizzouSportsDoc (er, Aaron Gray, M.D.) and me about why a tool like twitter should belong next to your goniometer.
So–here’s to social media and it’s power to influence for the better our profession of sports medicine! Make sure to follow the hashtag #AMSSM15 this week to stay on top of the proceedings even if you are not physically here in Hollywood, Florida. And take a look at our #ReturnToPlay collection, which we’ve made free until the end of the month to celebrate the theme of #AMSSM15
Cheers, and we (that is @CJSMonline) hope 2 c u on twitter!