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Random Thoughts Dr. Bushra Anwar

Note: Dr. Bushra Anwar had posted this on WhatsApp group in the social media and it makes an interesting reading and of course a bitter truth. It is being reproduced to create awareness among the healthcare professionals may be it pricks the conscious of some and things do improve – Editor.

Dr. Bushra Anwar

“In most of the academic meetings these days, all one can recall is faces. Since social media is the name of the game, the focus is on people; very few can remember what they said, if at all (one third are there as being important only, not to deliver anything).
Substance, matter, thoughts, revelations, insights, advise, explanation, all go to the back seat. Giant screens, glittering stage, glamorous backdrops, lights, cameras, ‘drone’ videos, shield distribution, likes on FB, Twitter, and applauding comments….remain in memories!! At least in this society. And it’s a race.

Who wins it, may not have added anything to knowledge, development, research, or skills. But his/her following or fanclub ensures he/she remains upfront. Comments like ‘awesome, excellent, keep it up, proud of you’ fill the comments trail on social media; thumbs and heart emoji follow. Irony is, they are gifted by those who didn’t even attend the meeting!
Then there are buffets, course meals, tea, eateries shown as a sign of success of the academic meetings. Audience: some are there for learning; many others for posting selfies, collecting goodies or chatting in lobbies.

One remains searching for the oration, inventions, discussions, debate, consensus that lead the participants to a higher sanity level. Wherever and whenever it was for the few who attended, doesn’t remain in the memories. And not available for others who weren’t there.
Why? Why has glamour taken over academics? Can’t we cherish the educational material, rewind the recordings, reread the deliberations, be wiser! Instead, most of the educated population is getting more fascinated with materia-non-releventia!

Addendum: I am not against academic events, in fact very much for them. Just wanted to cry loudly on our focuses. Let’s describe, summarise the content of our talk (or someone else’s) in any social media post we post, instead of 35+ pictures as “content”.
As organizers of an event, replace the ‘glamour’ with focused education. Set ‘learning objectives’ for the same. Keep stimulating and relevant topics, debates, original research upfront. Keep corporate activities separate from the main arena.
In short, if conferences are primarily designed for learning, so that a participant remembers it for it’s educational value, it’s worth it; even social media posts contain what they learnt from it, instead of how was the food or ambience. A wider appreciation and refocusing is required.

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