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Monday, January 7, 2013

Spinning the Message

Imagine a society where your device is never far from your hand.  No matter how important you are or how low, you never go out socially without your technology.   The line between work and personal life  is hopelessly blurred. You cannot even take your kids to the park without pulling out your device and following the most recent thread.  Does this sound like our wired society in 2013?

Well, I am actually describing the world of the average woman in the Middle Ages.  Back then every woman, regardless of age or rank, was expected to fill their day with meaningful work.  So each woman would carry their spindle and distaff  (also called a rock) with them to social occasions.  Sometimes they would even gather for this purpose and it was called “a rocking” I guess the modern equivalent of that would be a “tweet-up.” It was a constant frenzy of thread creation. 

But there were times that it was considered appropriate to put down the spindle and focus on friends, family and spiritual well being.  People would “unplug” (Or would that be unlace?) during the 12 days of Christmas. 

I don’t know about you, but I see a pronounced absence of social media voices during the holidays.  Other than the occasional status update or twitter competition most folks are MIA from December 25 to January 6th.  Perhaps that is exactly the way it should be.  Perhaps the holidays are time focus on family and friends and spin stories rather than messages in the media.
Regina Holliday

But today is January 7, Distaff Day.  Today we pick up our devices once more and we will spin the threads that will make this year.  Those threads will form the weft and warp of healthcare policy. 

2013 will be an amazing year in healthcare and patients must be in the forefront of creating that message.  I look forward to following your threads.

                                                      Photo courtesy of Ted Eytan


  1. Distaff day - I love that! Over the holiday I learned to knit, and found myself, like the women from the middle ages, taking my knitting everywhere.

    It's something you can do physically while mediatating at the same time, so very unlike social media in that regard.

    We're so looking forward to having you on #BCSM tonight.


  2. My 'Distaff Day' blog opened with inspirational segments on Regina Holliday, Lucien Engelen and ePatient Dave! A Dilbert cartoon on patient engagement prompted the post.
    Patient harm is compounded when providers do not acknowledge patients and their advocates or only acknowledge 'selected' voices. Conference selection bias of both presenters and attendees can discriminate against patients and limit the ability to provide workable patient safety solutions.
    Real patient engagement means that patients are true partners and stakeholders with all respect and responsibility. If we are not at patient safety summits as presenters and attendees, we are not engaged!