If you’re an avid user of Twitter, you probably remember when you had the proverbial light bulb go off, that moment when you finally “got” Twitter—you understood how you could benefit from it. The most recent example of this is from an episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” (season 7, episode 13 for those that want to watch).
Setting the stage
The hospital chief, Chief Webber, starts the episode with no knowledge of Twitter’s existence, much less what it’s used for. One of his doctors, Dr. Bailey, decides to start tweeting live during a surgery. Many of the residents are following the surgery on Twitter in another operation room where the chief is. He gets annoyed with the residents’ attention being focused on their cell phones, which is how he is introduced to Twitter.
After he finishes the surgery, Chief Webber confronts Dr. Bailey and tells her to stop tweeting, saying that it’s a lawsuit waiting to happen. I think he actually calls the practice “lawyer bait.” She calls him out and says that he doesn’t like it because he doesn’t understand it. I haven’t heard truer words.
She also cites the learning opportunities it offers those that aren’t able to be in the hospital’s program. He concedes and says that he’ll check it out with the condition that she’ll stop tweeting for now.
Bailey gets caught tweeting…again
Dr. Bailey goes into another surgery, and her residents convince her that they should continue to tweet. After all, she has several thousand followers and the patient will never find out (much less the chief—he doesn’t even know Twitter’s name!). Of course, another doctor is showing Chief Webber Twitter during the surgery.
The chief walks into the operating room and demands for Bailey to stop. She plays dumb, and Webber insists that the tweeting stops. Something goes wrong with the patient, and a tweep following the surgery makes a suggestion. Right after Webber shoots down the idea due to lack of equipment, a couple of hospitals tell him via Twitter that they have it and indicate they’re willing to help. Webber and Bailey decide to take them up on the offer, and Bailey runs off to the hospital to get what she needs for the patient.
While Bailey is gone, Webber is supervising the patient. The replies keep coming, and a former resident reaches out to the chief with a message much longer than 140 characters. He says that it’s a pleasure to scrub in with Webber again through the Twitter experience. That strikes a chord with the chief, and viewers can tell that it’s a moment of clarity for him. He realizes that he can connect with other doctors, reach the masses and save patients with alternative methods.
The next few scenes show Webber enthusiastically spouting off tips for the students following the surgery on Twitter. When Bailey comes back, he insists that she continues to tweet live during surgeries.
Back to reality
I’ll be the first person to admit that “Grey’s Anatomy” is not reality. I highly doubt a hospital would implement such a strategy with such little research, and I’m sure it is lawyer bait. That said, there are other uses in the medical field. For example, teachers could test their students with mock surgeries using Twitter.
Another thing, reality doesn’t work that quickly. Everybody has his or her own pace with social media. You don’t “get it” overnight—it’s a process. I was on Twitter for two months before I really comprehended its advantages. And let’s face it, some people will never see the advantages of Twitter and social media.
Don’t dismiss Twitter or another social media site because you don’t understand it.
Give it a chance. Dr. Webber did and it worked out. Even if the light bulb doesn’t go off right away (which I wouldn’t expect), hopefully you’ll have your “Eureka!” moment eventually. I say hopefully because that moment when you realize the endless possibilities it offers is a great feeling.
Even if you try and conclude that Twitter or any other social media platform isn’t for you, you should still recognize that it serves some purpose for many others. If your business customers are engaging on Twitter, it’s definitely worthwhile for you to think about it.
Has Twitter or another social media platform clicked for you yet? Share your moment of clarity with us.