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However, the point of social media is to
share, rather than withhold, information.
One way to avoid sharing unprofessional
content on social media is to avoid sharing
personal content altogether.
Accepting personal responsibility
Khayyám’s poem, quoted at the beginning
of this article, described the downfall of the
Babylonian kingdom, as foretold by a disembodied hand that wrote a message on a wall.
Derived from this story is the idiom often used
to portend doom: “the writing on the wall.”
Social media is not all doom and demise, of
course, but it becomes the responsibility of
the surgeon to harness this opportunity in
a professional and thoughtful manner. The
threats to patient privacy and professionalism
require constant vigilance from surgeon users.
are what you tweet.” 9 Likewise, you are the
writing on your Facebook wall. Although the
writing may not lead to imminent demise, it
is indelible, and the potential consequences
are real and enduring. ♦