Someone asked me yesterday if I had noticed a change in how people use Twitter at ACEP’s Scientific Assembly over the years. In a word: yes. So much has changed and grown. In fact, I still remember the first ad hoc in-person meet-up of Twitter users back at ACEP13 in Seattle, Washington. There were literally fewer than 10 of us sitting around a table having breakfast, trying to figure out how we could convince people in emergency medicine that social media was even worthwhile. We were confident that social media use in medicine and medical education would grow but we had no inkling that five years later, it would be so central to the conference-going experience of ACEP’s membership.
One of the most welcome developments has been the increasing interactivity of social media. Social media that is actually social? What a concept! A few years ago, it was actually not uncommon for multiple people to live-tweet the same lecture, in much the same ways. It was as if we were all living in parallel universes and not really interacting. These days, however, experienced tweeps know that if one person is live-tweeting a lecture, the rest of us don’t have to. We can chime in with comments, questions, and ideas.
Dr. Liam Yore (@movinmeat, still one of the greatest twitter handles ever), tweeted out “Hey #ACEP18 Twitter. Here’s a fun game. Tweet the name of a drug shortage you’ve had to grapple with in the last month. I’ll start: Fluorescein.” Dr. Howie Mell (@DrHowieMell) responded, “Diltiazem IV, ondansetron IV, dilaudid IV (nubain, and morphine too) and, most recently, injectable diazepam.” Dr. Ilene Benator (@irb123) added “Valium IM, reglan, compazine, hydralazine. Morphine.” I personally responded to Dr. Benator, adding, “Sadly, I find it difficult to do the Goldfrank’s Toxicology valium-based approach to alcohol withdrawal without, you know, actual valium available!” Dr. Dink Jardine (@dinkjardine) tweeted, “Sumatriptan, lidocaine, ofloxicin. Not [at] #ACEP18 but was feeling left out of the cool kids table,” again proving that you don’t need to be here in person to get in on the action.