I’m a chapter ahead of how most people look at the world.
If life can be funny, the Internet is hilarious. In the last several years, The Internet has created an entire culture around the need to be liked, and to show others how liked you are.
Ebay is an example where not telling someone that you liked their product can get you hate mail. When you purchase something, you have the opportunity to let others know that the vendor was very good and that you liked their product. I do not do that. I do not give someone a like simply for doing his or her job, but I do get emails pleading for my imprimatur of approval.
Uber is another good example of our need to instantly know that we are loved. That, however, is a service where I will rate the driver, in part because I know that for the drivers to keep their job they have to maintain a high rating. I also do it because they designed their system such that I do not get my receipt emailed to me until I complete the rating.
Social media is the same way. Facebook has given way to groups like Instagram and Snapchat so people can get liked faster. Post a picture of what you ate for desert and everyone in your network will let you know what a good choice you made by sending you a like. People who don’t send you the instant gratification that you deserve run the risk of being defriended, or even worse, abused.
Healthcare has one example of how ridiculous collecting likes has become. While Epic does not have a place on its homepage for you to show your love, it does have a place on its Facebook page. If you search for Epic on Facebook you will find that 5,987 people like it or them, I’m not sure which term is correct. Lemmings drinking the Kool-Aid. These same people are allowed to decide whom our next president will be.
(I was at HIMSS this year and I did not see a single person wearing a t-shirt with the words “I love my Epic” printed on it.)
Rumor has it that the current administration is considering issuing an executive order that will require people who use Facebook to like everything their friends post about themselves in order to improve everyone’s self-image.
We have become a nation of sycophants. I do not do instant gratification. Go ahead, abuse me.
If you are a fan of the movie Bambi, you may recall that Thumper’s mother told him, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I think that same message applies to people and organizations that want you to tell you that you like them. The thing is, they do not want to know that you do not like them. For example, on Epic’s Facebook page there is no thumbs-down icon for you to click, just a thumbs-up icon.
So here is why I am writing about our incessant need for gratification. A friend emailed me a link to a story about a pediatricians’ offices in Lee County, Florida. The doctors were dropping patients because the parents of some patients posted negative ratings. If Comcast dropped customers simply because people rated Comcast poorly, Comcast would not have any customers.
When I dislike a service I receive, I feel obligated to let someone know. If the provider of that service had the temerity to drop me as a customer, I would feel the moral imperative to let everybody know.
Physicians, especially pediatric physicians, may not understand just how involved it is to get their child to and from a doctor’s office. I posted this diagram recently showing that there are as many as eleven processes a parent must complete to take their child to the doctor (https://healthcareitstrategy.com/2016/05/23/5102/).
Moms and dads are busy. And the least you can do after you have asked for their feedback is to not rub their faces in it by dropping them. A bad experience is your problem, not theirs.