It’s time to go cold turkey. One of the hallmarks of being active on healthcare tech or digital health scene is Twitter. Even more than LinkedIn groups, websites and blogs, it’s how increasingly we communicate with and acknowledge each other in the field. But it has its shortcomings. It’s become a chore to follow the tweetstream in my (deliberately limited) account, because there’s all that filler. I have to scroll…and scroll…to find the ‘wanna read’ nuggets by those who post ‘the good stuff’ (and you know who you are).
The volume increases dramatically during conferences. There’s good links and photos, but increasingly it’s become a festival of incidental remarks about speakers being on (sans content links), tweets about going here and there, social pictures of lunches and dinners, selfies. Increasingly, no one puts down their phone! At sessions, instead of being riveted (or not) on the speaker, attendees are glued to their phones, furiously keyboarding and tweeting…whatever. It’s insulting to the speaker who’s trying to engage with the audience, for starters. Then there are the meetings with the tweetstream posted to the side of the stage–another distraction. Most of all, by furiously fingering, aren’t you cheating yourself of the conference experience for which you or someone has paid dearly? Isn’t the point of being there human contact and time off the screen?
Carolyn Thomas, Canada’s own ‘Ethical Nag’ and ‘Heart Sister’, describes kicking Obsessive Live-Tweeting at Conferences far more wittily in How we got sucked into live-tweeting at conferences. An excerpt:
For too long, I’d been telling myself:
–that live-tweeting isn’t a problem for me
–that I could quit anytime
–that the tweets I send to my Twitter followers while listening to a conference speaker onstage are actually interesting, high-quality messages
–that it must be okay because everybody else in the audience is doing it, too
But now I know that it’s time to quit cold-turkey.