To Err Is Human But to Hear About It on Facebook??

I am, admittedly, a social media junky–and Facebook is my drug of choice. At home, nothing makes me happier than a house full of laughing people. So for me, Facebook extends that cocktail party into all hours and allows guests and hosts to transcend time and place.

Mostly we laugh and browse and chat and like. Sometimes we rant and rave and cry. In the end, we feel fulfilled, heard, validated, and liked (in the old and new sense of the word)

Tonight, though, Facebook made me sick to my stomach. I felt sad, angry, and betrayed. I moped around all afternoon snapping at my kids, avoiding my husband and in a word just being miserable. Why? Because two people wrote negative comments about me on a Facebook page. I happened to come across those comments by accident but boy did they sting.

I sat at a table in the food court of the mall where I was supposed to be shopping with my daughter and stared at my phone. As anger welled up in me I recalled the wise words of Michael Hyatt: “never post when you are angry.” I waited, digested. Then responded professionally and calmly. But, I was not satisfied.

The problem is, I don’t make designer handbags or bake cookies for a living. I am a doctor. So, when people dislike my product, they essentially dislike me. How do I NOT take that personally.

Worse, I actually care. Truly, and in the most heart wrenching sense of the word, I care what people think of me. The simple solution to avoiding the agony of being disliked is to not be so “out there.” If I was not so visible on social networks, I would not have any idea that these patients were saying not so nice things about me. I would have carried on my happy way. But, would I really be HAPPY?

I crave the interaction, the conversation, the impact. This fall, utilizing just social media contacts, I was able to generate over $10,000 for a charity in 10 days. I could have sent letters for a year and not had that kind of impact. A woman read a post I wrote about domestic violence and contacted me to thank me for giving her the courage to get help. I am watching my friends kids from across the globe, chatting with my neighbor across the street about cocktails later, and truly making an impact. All that goodness comes at a price. And it can be steep. I am out there. Vulnerable. Anyone can say anything at anytime–and they have the right to. The fact that I let that freedom to state an opinion tie me up inside and out for hours is on me.

So, do we take Facebook’s good with the bad, put our armour on and comment, like, post away. Or, do we cut our losses, say less is more and retreat to the old- fashioned world of Hallmark, email and occasional face to face contact? Is our world better because of Facebook interactions or are we just becoming consumed by every little red number that pops up?
Today I choose making an impact AND growing a thick skin. Now if there was only a way to remove that pesky FB symbol from my iPhone.

Comments

  1. Caroline says:

    Dear Christine,
    I think you’re wonderful–the caring shows. I love that you’re on FB, that I can contact you via email, that I run into you at Wegman’s. The stories of your children make you human. I’m sorry you received some negative comments. It happens. Please stay accessible.
    Caroline

  2. Linda Hall says:

    Dear Dr. Meyer,
    You know that I am forever grateful to you for saving my life in steering me in the right direction for my cancer care. I am always telling everyone how wonderful you and Amy are and what an amazing indebtedness I have for both of you. I’m sorry someone felt so inclined to say hurtful things. The phrase sticks and stones can break your bones but names will never hurt you is very wrong. Words sting and go to the heart. Like elephants we may forgive but we never forget. Please do not change your social avenue. I love feeling like I am a part of your life and your insightfulness and knowledge that you share reaching so many people in a positive way reminds us how wonderful and human you are. Thank you for being the wonderful person that you are – warm, kind, caring, sincere, genuine, compassionate and extremely brilliant.

    Sincerely,
    Linda Hall

    • Christine says:

      Linda I feel so lucky to be able to engage with you in this conversation. Thanks for being a supporter of mine but more importantly thank you for being such an inspiration. Cancer stinks! But, it doesn’t have to beat you down. You are amazing amazing amazing.

  3. Dellane Develin says:

    Christine — I am so much like you, while not a doctor & saving lives, especially my own — I work with in Special Ed & put myself out there every day to impact my student’s life, as well as others. When I say I am like you, I mean that I take comments that I shouldn’t take personally — well some people say I am “emotionally involved” & to let all of it go! Well what I conclude is that I may be emotionally involved in my job & that’s what makes me so great at my job & the same goes for you! Time will or I hope, allow me to grow the thicker skin to allow some comments to bounce off, but I do believe people like you & me are better for our professions because of our personalities & that is why you have and will succeed in your career & show all the negative ones how it really is done!!! You are the best thing that happened in my life & your progress in your practice is proof enough!!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    hi christine,
    if i seen anything negative written about you or your family ,i would
    have to get out my POISON PEN & answer them….mary cahill can tell you what i’m like
    when ya get me upset.you don’t talk down the people i love & respect………….
    gert dunn

  5. Anonymous says:

    I was the person who simply wrote:

    I do not recommend Dr Meyer. I am looking for another Doctor as well.

    That’s it, that’s all I wrote because I am not happy. Dr Meyer has now gone on to write a blog post and two Facebook posts about this issue??? She also sent me a certified letter terminating our interaction together.

    Seems a little nuts! I’ve never seen something like this in my life. Maybe a little anger management class might be in order? Truth is, many people dislike Dr Meyer and her office staff. I have had my doubts about her ability as a doctor for many years and felt no confidence in her or her office staff. Her actions only confirm that I completely made the right choice. My recommendation to others will always be, stay far away from this doctor especially after the treatment I have been subjected to. Patients don’t deserve to be ridiculed and singled out for expressing dislike. Doctors that take criticism and use it for betterment are doctors that I choose to associate with, not immaturity and selfishness. Shane on you Dr Meyer for your behavior. Extremely unprofessional. Thankfully I am terminating my relationship with you. I wish you the best.

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