Whatever happens later today, I want to acknowledge AstraZeneca’s desire to continue to innovate within the social web as they prepare for tonight’s #Rxsave Twitter chat (8pm EDT, 16 February 2011).
I hope that everyone who participates gets a chance to air their opinions, and logs off feeling that they have been acknowledged and that their contribution has been heard.
You can review the conversation that has taken place thus far as well as follow the hour-long discussion live here.
Passions are already running high. That’s not surprising.
The social web is not a space wherein a virtue is made of quiet reflection. Well, with the exception of the Virtual Abbey, perhaps. 🙂
It is not enough to just be ‘mildly concerned’ or ‘generally interested’ in something in this environment. Rather, you are apparently expected to be full-on, in your face, 100% ‘passionate’ at all times.
‘Passion’ is a much abused word in the social web. It seems that if you do not declare that you are ‘passionate’ about something, you just don’t care enough.
However, of all the uses to which this poor, overworked word is put, perhaps healthcare advocates are justified in describing themselves as ‘passionate’.
In fact, the etymology of passion is strikingly appropriate and relevant to a healthcare setting, being variously informed by and derived from the Middle English (martyr), Late Latin ( physical suffering) and Latin (an undergoing).
When we discuss health, whether we are talking about ourselves or advocating on behalf of others, it is only right that we should express ourselves fully and frankly.
There is nothing more important than our well-being.
Our quality of life is our life.
David Hume said famously that ‘reason is, and ought only to be, the slave of the passions‘. Whilst there is always going to be a tussle between our desire and our reason, we must accede that a discussion is only a discussion when both sides speak, listen, understand and respond. Otherwise, we’re just shouting at each other.
Of course, we only shout because we feel that we haven’t been heard in the first place.
If the discussion is going to continue, then everyone is going to have to be prepared to find the middle ground that they are prepared to occupy.
In the case of the Rxsave discussion, this means allowing patients and consumers the opportunity to get what they want out of the conversation, and affording the pharma industry, personified on this occasion by AstraZeneca, enough reasons to want to come back and do this again. I for one hope that they do.
It is a given that this ground is going to be less than ideal and far from comfortable for everyone standing on it. It may seem uneven, and threaten to unbalance us, but as long as we hold out our hands to keep each other steady, hopefully we can all stay on our feet and have a chance to move forward together.