Right before our eyes, social media has become a staple of life. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit and the list goes on. Seems that you can’t throw a rock anymore without hitting a new virtual medium for communicating your every move. There actually have been studies published showing that the more means of communication that become accessible, the less we actually communicate. In fact, the is a video circulating showing the importance of real interaction, and how devices may be robbing us of that experience. You can view that video here. Still, the social media sites are here to stay, and usually, they are positive. It’s why the good quality places are so treasured, and so appreciated.
Sadly, these mediums are used in negative ways, too. Don’t believe me? Just Google Britney Spears and read in horror the ridiculous and disgusting ideas that people post. Every person that could even spell the word ‘camera’ seemed like they were after her every move and even more people are talking about it. In fact, I almost feel sorry for her. It cannot be a pleasure filled existence when every detail of your life, from the color of your socks to your trash pickup schedule, is published on the internet. The negativity is out there, and occasionally it comes knocking.
For the most part, Vision Therapy has been blessed with some great supporters. Take Michele Hillman and the Vision Therapy Parents Unite Facebook Page, for instance. Aside from the fact that Michele is an absolute delight herself, her page has become a trendsetter and in many ways is a safe haven for parents needing the advice of other parents. There is also the newly created Vision Rehabilitation group, which is run by a great friend of mine, Dr. Charles Boulet. If you are not yet connected to either of these, please check both of them out. There is much to learn and much support to be found!
What has prompted this blog post, and the odd title, ‘antisocial media’, is another group which will not be named but seems determined to censor their members, and control access to viable treatment options, such as Vision Therapy. Unfortunately, myself and a few of my good friends were wrapped up in such a problem today. It came to such a head that the site administrator ‘removed’ my access to the group because I chose to take a stand for a VT doc (previously removed the day before) who was being bad-mouthed and disrespected simply because they represented an opinion that was considered unpopular. All civility was flushed, the gloves were off, and the masses were firing live rounds at a person who was not granted the opportunity to defend themselves. I took a stand for a VT friend, and I too was kicked off. It was a sad situation, but in the end, the administrator got their wish. The ‘unpopular’ perspective is gone, as are we troublemakers. Oddly enough, one of my biggest critics on this blog – someone who enjoys writing me privately claiming I have no idea what I’m doing – found me on that same page. In hindsight, maybe the administrator did me a favor.
Today’s experiences have taught me a valuable lesson – two lessons, actually.
First, we all need to thank Michele Hillman and Dr. Charles Boulet for the wonderful pages that they run and for their selfless commitment to helping spread the word day after day. Again, please click here for VTPU and here for Vision Rehab.
The second lesson is actually the recalling of a line a friend of mine used to share before she passed away at the age of 41:
It’s nice to be important, but it’s important to be nice. ~ Raquel “Charlie” Cisneros
No matter your self perceived importance, slamming your door in the face of people with whom you don’t agree is not productive for anyone. Debates can be civil, and from opposing opinions, growth can occur. What’s more, badmouthing is not productive, and should be avoided. We recall this in real life; however, it seems for some, these social skills fly out the window when they are seated in front of a computer screen. It’s really too bad.
All in all though, it was a good day. I realized, with a keen awareness, that Developmental Optometry has surrounded me with intelligent, giving, and passionate people. And that, my friends, is a pretty cool note to end on.