I have been debating with myself whether to write something or to wait and see…
Yesterday morning, reading through this week’s copy of the British Medical Journal, I found an article by David Oliver aka Mancunian Medic aka President of the British Geriatrics Society.
The article discussed the work done over the past ten years or so in the UK in relation to the status, care and treatment of people living with dementia. Which, despite an NHS that is struggling on every front, has been incredibly positive.
In my own small world, I have seen changes in the way staff approach patients, the way dementia and what it means to those living with the condition and their carers is represented in the clinical and management conversations within care and, society in general – TV, newspapers, social media. That is not to say, we have done all we can do, but, we have taken massive steps in the right direction.
Anyway, back to being blocked.
After reading the article I accessed Twitter on my phone, searched David Oliver and was about to Tweet how much I appreciated his article, when I discovered:
This I found a little strange, as being ‘blocked’ I had assumed was more to do with being a cyberbully, internet troll or the likes. And here was I in good faith, in my living room, in that position.
I had exchanged a little bit of online Twitter banter with @mancunianmedic a few months ago and I can’t remember exactly the subject – I do seem to recall we didn’t fully agree on something, although I think that was more of a misunderstanding than a disagreement.
And here I am. Unable to even ask him what it is all about.
So, this being 2017 (sic), I thought, why not turn to Twitter for an answer.
Within minutes, a colleague informed me that he too had been blocked by @mancunianmedic. Weirder – my colleague – @jodyaberdein seemed to feel that his being blocked might have been justified as he and @mancunianmedic had apparently had a contretemps over something to do with A&E.
Even weirder I thought – surely this isn’t how someone in @mancunianmedic’s position would respond to challenge? After all, much of what he writes in his weekly BMJ column is quite challenging, and most of which I support.
Things became more interesting when another person on Twitter became involved… @carterjenny16, who, it transpired isn’t blocked from accessing @mancunianmedic’s Twitter feed.
@carterjenny conveyed that she had been blocked by @WirralEvolution (again, for reasons she wasn’t completely sure about), but was able to convey a message to @mancunianmedic on my behalf that I couldn’t understand why I’d been blocked and also that I had liked his article.
Something transiently flashed-up on my phone from @mancunianmedic – I think a blockage-glitch in response to this, but when I went looking, I couldn’t find the tweet.
So I am left, Sunday morning in Doncaster pondering what is going on.
Have I been blocked accidentally? Have I been blocked intentionally? Is this some sort of cyber-error or even, a conspiracy by someone to limit @mancunanmedic’s access to people – I don’t know.
The biggest irony of ironies, well, at least to me, is that on Thursday I was at the British Geriatrics Society Spring conference in Liverpool and David Oliver was standing in front of me – I came close to telling him about how much I admired his articles and mentioning that we had Twitter-bantered in the past, but he was talking to some other people at the time and I didn’t want to interrupt.
I could perhaps email @mancunianmedic and ask what is going on – I guess, that is the less 2017 (sic) way of doing things these days – so here is my blog. If it perhaps makes his way to his inbox, all might be revealed.
Here is to freedom of speech!