One of the most common (egregious?) misunderstandings concerning social media interactions is that they’re simply no different from face-to-face.
Although there are urban understandings of how body language and words contribute to communications, we really don’t know for sure. (See Misinterpretation of Mehrabian’s Rule.)
Not to mention pheromones, and who else knows what tiny subtle mechanisms at play in human inter-connectivity and communications.
We must understand what’s going on here. Why? Because you and I and everybody else are connecting less and less personally, and more and more via electronic telepathy.
Ergo: what happens via social media is different from face-to-face.
Now, this difference has down-sides.
But…but this difference has upsides as well. Think of Twitter’s value-extraction mechanism – tiny pearls of wisdom secreted though the tyrannical pressure of 140 characters as an instance.
Furthermore: there are inter-plays between the down-sides and up-sides of this differential.
The more you peel away, the more you peel away. Crazy, huh?
Crazy as it is, we must keep peeling away and plumbing the breadth and depths of how the presence of today’s technologies enhance, obsolesce, retrieve and flip the media of communication and other forms of human contact. See the pic below:
When thinking about Healthcare – how nurses, physicians and other HCPs aught to explore their personal/professional rights/responsibilities – it’s critical that we return to a media-analysis of what’s going on. We are moving towards a strange chimera of technology, psychology, ethics, communication, economics, politics and professional work.
^ What therapeutic communications do social media enhance?
^ What patient-provider relationships do social media obsolesce?
^ What practical wisdom do social media retrieve from the ancient past?
^ How far can we bend social media in Healthcare and what happens when they flip as a result?
That’s why I offer the quirky equation as the title of this post: we don’t know enough, but we can start with a framework. What I offer is just an intuition pump, not to be taken literally.
There is an enigma to social media.
We know some of the variables that compose this enigma, but not all. Not by worlds.
Let’s work out the algebraic topology that is the enigma of social friken media.