I hate Facebook! There I have said it and I feel better about it. Ok, ok, I know…I still use Facebook in an ironic twist. I actually have a like/hate relationship with it. But seriously, I feel that there are some serious detriments to using Facebook for the succession and progression of quality information. I know that there are folks out there that absolutely love Facebook and I will lose them at this point but if you read on, I will explain why Facebook holds back the progression and succession of quality information.
To me, Facebook operates in cycles. It is a combination of community dynamics that is akin to the flow of traffic down a busy highway populated by stoplights. The traffic gets the green light and the mass of cars moves down the road until the next stoplight, only to be slowed down when the next set of lights turn red. If you are lucky, you may be able to break apart from the pack of traffic and get ahead enough to catch the next light before it turns red.
Most Facebook pages dedicated to Fluoroquinolone (FQ) toxicity operate much in the same way. Notice I said ‘most’. Some Facebook pages are dedicated to new individuals who are in desperate need of emotional support as they are in a virtual state of shock and need basic help. Those Facebook pages that dedicate themselves to helping the newly affected individuals with the basics of FQ toxicity are commendable. But what about the rest….
Let’s go back to the traffic light example. Let’s say for instance that we have a page that is dedicated to treating FQ toxicity. At the beginning of the page everyone starts moving down the road at the same speed. Treatments are discussed and some good scientific information along with source information is being shared and the group progresses. Then the inevitable happens. ..
This is where Facebook is different from many forums and internet lists. Several people drop out and many new people join up and succession is lost. The conversation comes to a screeching halt as the group starts re-addressing information that was originally discussed six months, a year, or maybe years earlier. The whole dynamic digresses. Now really pay attention….Facebook allows for no way of educating new folks in prior information and bringing them up to speed. Only what is currently trending is what is hot, and many times trending information is actually very, very old and posts with good information can easily disappear down the timeline.
Let me explain quickly with more detail how this negatively impacts the FQ community. I do not really post on Facebook FQ pages very much and this is the reason; almost every time I show up, inevitably, folks are discussing something that has been discussed many time before and is old news. It is akin to a tractor stuck in a muddy field constantly spinning its tires and never getting anywhere, even though it is expending considerable energy. I see many folks posting new found information not realizing that the information they discovered, albeit important to them, is very old but there was no logical way to pass it on to them in the first place. Now it is not their fault, it is the fault of the structure of Facebook. Anyway, the result is the loss of data, fractionalization of data, a degree of difficulty in passing quality data from person to person (succession) and inability to lay a foundation on which to build (progression).
Now let me let you in on a little secret, which is actually no secret at all, since most of it had been announced a long time ago but got lost in the shuffle….there has been considerable research accomplished on FQ toxicity, there is research going on right now at both universities and by individual doctors both M.D’s and N.D.’s. There have been people that I know that have successfully treated some of their symptoms using repeatable and proven methods and they have attempted to share that information, only to get lost in the shuffle. Now granted there is proprietary “secret” information that researchers do not release, which is a whole “gray” area, and most of it I do not agree with. I will talk about that in another article. I, personally, am for the open exchange of information so that people can heal and the community can move further along its path. I do however agree that the information must be released in a method that ensures succession of the information so that it leads to the progression of the community. But you must understand… Facebook, due to is structure and design, hinders the progression and succession of released information.
So what is the answer? First let me throw in the caveat that for pure social interaction not being conducted face to face, Facebook is unmatched. It allows your distant family and friends to see pictures of the kids, the house, birthdays, etc… Facebook is also good for advocacy and social movements. In my opinion however, a the better way (not perfect) of creating a vehicle for succession and progression is the use of an internet forum. Forums provide a easier means to categorize and search information. Unfortunately there have been some excellent FQ forums in the past that were shut down with a tragic loss of important data. There has been one new FQ forum recently created that will hopefully fill the void and hopefully, in the future, there will be others. I know there are a lot of people out there with good information on healing. Whether people will be able to pull themselves from Facebook to participate in and exchange quality knowledge and treatment information remains to be seen, but we live in hope.