23 December, 2014


The days of Face to Face expression are nearly gone....

Now it is the age of Facebook!!

Nearly everybody who knows to use internet has a Facebook account....!

Want to know something? Put a query on FB.... Loads of answers will pour in...

Want to wish your loved ones for their Birthday, anniversary?  FB is there...

The latest fad of the younger lot..... FB account!

The older generation is not far behind...

FB has literally revolutionized the way people use internet. The think-tank of FB is just awesome...

Think of the bigger picture, FB has made our world a “Global Village”. Anyone with an FB account can connect to people in the other end of the equator Just like that!

Social network’s potential is just waiting to be explored!

FB has revolutionized internet, FB has changed business models. Instead of spending money on creating websites, small scale businessmen have started developing and generating business via Facebook pages. FB has played a matchmaker, hell and havoc on interpersonal relationships as well...

Can FB revolutionize Healthcare also?

Yes !!

There are already humpty number of groups created and run by experts in the field. They exchange information, bring in news on emerging trends and help colleagues when they feel stuck!

How about the end users? General Public!

Well it depends!

Few days back I came across a post in FB. Some distressed soul had posted that he has been suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome for the past 7years and has consulted several gastroenterologists including some fancy names in the field... He asked a very simple question... “Any good Gastroenterologist near ________?”
The responses were varied...

There were 100+ Likes!

Poor fellow is suffering for the past 7years. He cannot even go out as and when he feels like... and people like it????

Gosh!!! ..... That’s just gross...

Well these people are from the discreet group who don’t want to comment but just want to know what’s going on... (It is genetic I guess! We read, We like...... But, No Comments!!)

There were indeed some comments.Some were concerned and wanted to help, others just wanted to show off their knowledge...
Many of the comments included names of Doctors. Some had names and contacts of famous hospitals treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Till this everything is fine... now comes the show off part.... Few suggested taking herbs, yoga, naturopathy, healing using magnets, healing using stones  etc... All these didn’t come from their personal experience but just hearsay tit-bit information...  FACEBOOK DOCTORS*!!

What is the fate of this poor person if he feels like giving it a try?

Few more miserable years with IBS? Or the IBS worsens?

Where does our intelligence vanish when we post, reply or start acting depending on the responses we receive for a post....?

FB is a public forum. What we post is visible to everybody. Anyone can reply. Everybody’s attitude and opinion differs...

Our opinion differs from person to person. It is basic psychology. Our opinion depends on our relationship with that person. Agreed....? Our answer to the same problem differs when answering to our Sister & Sister-in-law.

How is that we expect an impartial/useful opinion from a third person who has not even seen you?

I appreciate the fact that there are loads of people ready to help. When it comes in matters of health is it really fair to put up questions in a public forum? In most cases the responses lead to confusion rather than a definitive answer.

Few more posts grabbed my attention..

One guy had shared that his mother just fell down and may be broke her hip. He wanted to know Ortho hospitals around his area. This post also met the same fate. Some 60 Likes plus some comments about various doctors. It so happened that slowly a fight emerged regarding competency of 2 doctors mentioned in the comments. Two smart Gentlemen started arguing on the basis of the experience of their relatives who met these doctors. Finally the guy had to post that he has admitted his mom in the nearest hospital. But who cares....? The fight just went on for few more hours!

One doctor phobic person had posted asking for Home remedy for Conjunctivitis in a 6month old infant. (Madras eye........... Should I be calling it Chennai Eye??). Responses were excellent. Started from mere face wash to applying some lotions, pouring breast milk (as though it is available in packets in the supermarkets) ,  using “Komiam” (Cow’s urine). The fun part was when an Ophthalmologist got involved in the discussion. Nobody wants to listen to him. Everybody was like “My Grandmother used to tell”, “My old neighbour says”. Has anybody used it????  NO...!

There are humpty number of such posts on FB. This phenomenon is nothing unique to FB. 

Nearly all Social networking sites have these discussions going on...

I am not against FB or Any other websites.

I appreciate people discussing about problems to get a solution..

Only thing which I want to say is that whatever responses come in such sites, please use your common sense or discuss personally with a specialist before “Just trying it out..!”

Just before I conclude...
Can there be a remote chance that a group of people belonging to one poly clinic or hospital create several fake ID’s on FB? They can always keep posting their brand name for every health related query which comes in. What generally happens is that if we keep seeing one particular name very often, we start believing it is good! Plus the Fake ID’s can give positive responses as well... Since they are not going to post about ISIS or anti-national messages, such Fake ID’s are never going to be screened. As far as corporate hospitals are concerned, this will prove to be much more cost effective than spending lakhs on advertisements. Am I thinking too much? Or is this already happening?

  • Refrain from posting personal or health queries on social media.
  • Always think hard on the responses you get. Do not act upon the idea unless until you are sure about it.
  • When in doubt ask a specialist.
  • Best method is to get referral from your family physician.

And finally...
  • Do not believe “FACEBOOK DOCTORS !!”

*- - FACEBOOK DOCTOR  is the one who had no knowledge in medicine or reads too many things from internet and starts propagating without knowing the credibility of the information. He might also be advising based on household remedies without knowing the side effects. 

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