Is There a Santa Claus? was the title of an editorial appearing in the September 21, 1897, edition of The (New York) Sun. The editorial, which included the famous reply “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus”, has become an indelible part of popular Christmas folklore in the United States and Canada.
The story starts when an eight-year-old girl asks her father whether Santa Claus really existed. He suggested she write to The Sun, a prominent New York City newspaper at the time, assuring her that “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.”
In other words if it is in print then it has to be true. This belief has been adapted to every advancement in media from Magazines to Television and now with the Internet. The gullible nature of the general population to believe and trust everything they see on internet is very alarming.
The power of the internet has brought us such wonderful things:
• Multiple, easy and quick modes of communications
• Shopping – for everything and anything you could ever want or need
• Education, research abilities- there is absolutely nothing that you can not learn about on the web.
• Collaboration between Professionals
• and so much more!
It is truly amazing what we have accomplished in such a short time. However, there is a down side to all this free flowing information. There are those who choose to take advantage of public gullibility and present themselves as experts. They sit behind their keyboards and spew opinions, they record themselves inaccurately demonstrating techniques and exercises that they have never been trained or certified in. They offer up advice and promises that are just outright dangerous.
What these self proclaimed experts are actually proficient in is marketing. They know how to find an audience and give them just enough to convince them to believe. Unfortunately it does not take much these days.
Even our Healthcare professionals are turning to the web for their training. If I told you that surgeons are allowed to watch videos and then go perform the procedures, what would your reaction be? Pretty scary to think that you, a family member or client could be operated on by someone who just watched a video.
I can not tell you the number of emails I receive advertising “Live Hands On webinars”… “get your professional continuing education credits without ever having to leave your own home or office.” In other words without ever actually putting your hands on a body to experience the application of the technique, without ever experiencing how it feels to receive the technique, without anyone to correct your body mechanics or observe/correct your misinterpretation of the lecture/demo. But hey you saved time and money.
Now if you are thinking that it is not the same we are not Surgeons, I will tell you that is a cop out. We are Professionals who lay hands on our clients. Clients who are trusting that we are qualified and fully trained in our techniques. That we did not just watch a video or attend a three hour CEU course.
I really do not know which is scarier, that the public so readily excepts all that they see on the web (whether it be Facebook, Youtube or professional websites) as truth or that Health care professionals are willing to forgo quality training to save a few bucks.
Technology can be both good and bad, how you use it determines which it is. There is a ton of useful information that can be utilized by both the general public and Healthcare Professionals but there is a point where it becomes detrimental. You must research the qualifications and sources from which you glean the information and always look for opposite opinions so you can make an informed decision about its validity. As a healthcare professional you must honor the trust given to you by your clients and seek out proper qualified professional training.