Local 4 Dr. Frank McGeorge is exploring the world of social media or "FaceTweeting" as he calls it. So what's taken him so long? We wanted to find out!
You've only dipped your toe into social media before this. What made you decide to jump in at last?
As my mom once told me, “If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.” I felt like the troglodyte left behind as everyone Jetson’ed into the future. Despite my magical thinking to the contrary, social media is here to stay. I used to think I didn’t have the time to do it right. Generally I believe in doing something right or not doing it at all. Now that I’ve made the commitment to doing it, I’m all in. Finally, it seems we often have stories that I don’t have enough airtime to flesh out on TV. Hopefully social media will give me a chance to fill in some of the interesting or informative details I had to leave off.
What are some of your concerns about using social media?
As a doctor my natural instinct is to be helpful to people when they ask me a question. Unfortunately, social media is not the right forum for that. When I get medical questions from an individual about their health, it’s really impossible to give a complete, well-informed answer. To give a useful answer, I really need more information than I can get through a tweet or Facebook post. Another concern I have is related to the character limit in tweets. 140 characters isn’t enough to give the whole story. Hopefully people reading the posts understand there are broader circumstances or conditions that can’t really be addressed, and I am simply focusing on the most generalizable core nugget of information. I still struggle with the question of what tweets or posts people will find useful, amusing or informative. I don’t want to just clog people’s feed with things they don’t care about. I’d like to be relevant.
What has surprised you about "FaceTweeting" so far?
I’m surprised how often people do pay attention to the posts. On the other hand I also feel like I’m just speaking out into a vacuum at times. The whole FaceTweeting world isn’t one that makes sense to me yet and there’s a lot more I need to learn. The whole hashtag thing has been a bit of a #mystery to me. Seems like I should just put a #hashtag in front of almost every word.
How often do you plan to post?
Medical news is constantly coming to my attention. There are also random medical facts that might be fun or useful to just put out there. I plan to FaceTweet a couple times a day. Some will be random factoids, some will be news of the day. I guess I’ll have to see what the feedback and following becomes. Hopefully I’ll get an idea what people are interested in reading and be able to respond. I will reassess in a month or two.
By the way I call them FaceTweets because I currently have it set up to post all tweets to both Twitter and Facebook… plus I just like the way it sounds. My FaceTweets will be based in facts or reliable information, although there will also be some of my own opinion occasionally. Hopefully it will be apparent when I am being snarky. I’d really like to be able to share my real feeling on some things, even if it’s not mainstream. On the news my role is to bring information to viewers’ attention and put it in a context that helps people understand why it is important. I try not to skew the context based on my opinion. On the other hand, as a practicing doctor, I definitely have an opinion on just about everything I report. This may turn out to be a good outlet for my opinion.