About Twitter

This page is to explain my Twitter accounts for those who follow me on Twitter or who read my tweets in the widget on the sidebar to the right.

The quick rundown is this:
@SemperJeff – Light, sarcastic tweets based in reality and my imagination. I let myself be goofy, or silly, or whatever you want to call it. These may or may not accurately express my position on a given topic.

@JeffreyMD – More serious, in-the-life-of-a-medical-student type tweets. Most of my medical school tweets will probably shift here unless I have some commentary to offer on it. New blog posts on this site are also announced on this account.

Also, should any tweet contain any information about patient interactions, know that steps have been taken to protect their identity. See “Legal Stuff” on the sidebar to the right for more info.

If that is the extent of your attention span, I hope that clears it up for you. If it didn’t, or if you’re bored, continue reading.

@SemperJeff was my original Twitter account that I created in 2007. It has evolved over time. At first I created it to follow some tech news I was interested in (I believe it was some announcement from Apple I was waiting for). Then I started tweeting. It started out as tweets that answered Twitter’s “What’s happening?” (or whatever was the question they had at the time) prompt in the most basic of ways (e.g. “Going to bed now,” “2 Psych lectures in a row and now I’m tired,” etc.).

Little by little, as I began following people on twitter who I found very funny, my tweets started being laced with sarcasm or my own odd brand of humor. Those who have followed me on Twitter for a long time may have noticed the tone of my tweets changing over the past year and a half. And come to think of it, many of my recent tweets (as of 2/5/10) have been comprised of some truth plus a sarcastic comment that I may or may not mean or truly believe. For example:

Study: Women with irregular menstrual cycles become regular when exposed to male underarm extracts.

Ladies? Need help? Accepting PayPal.

5:50 PM Feb 5th from Tweetie


The problem is all these recent articles about doctors and medical students acting unprofessionally. There was an article about a doctor “friending” someone on Facebook. There have been other articles about medical students posting “unprofessional” pictures online. The point is, people take notice and are upset when doctors and medical students act unprofessionally. Whether or not that should be the case is irrelevant. It happens.

Ideally, I could create one Twitter account and use it to express myself any way I want. But I realize that Twitter, with it’s 140 character limit, has its limitations. It is difficult to read just one tweet and get an idea of what a person tweets of on a regular basis. Someone who clicks “follow” after seeing a serious tweet might be totally thrown off by the following non-serious, totally sarcastic tweet. Without much context, I can see how one might easily take offense to something on Twitter or be caught off-guard by someone you just started following. I have had people follow me only to unfollow me within a few hours. Perhaps I bored them. Or perhaps they followed after reading only a couple tweets and later found out I don’t tweet about anything they are at all interested in.

Because of this I am weary to rely on people being able to read a tweet and know when I’m joking and when I am serious. I’m sure those who have followed me for some time can tell, but as my profile is public, anyone (like someone from the Dean’s Office) can click on over and take offense to something I tweeted in jest.

I wish I didn’t have to write a page to explain my tweets, but I guess I am just covering my bases. And that’s good practice for the litigious atmosphere in which I hope to one day practice medicine.