Social Media is the new doctor

If you have an ailment, why go to a Doctor? You can google your ailment and find out everything about it, including its cure! However, you may not fully trust an advice from a faceless intangible virtual doctor! But you will definitely trust when your Face Book friend or one amongst several hundred (may be thousand or more depending on your proficiency of usage) WhatsApp contacts shares such kind of information with you. Moreover, most of the suggested remedies are touted to be “Ramban”, a famous colloquial word used for “Wonder cure”! (As per the folklore, Lord Rama was a perfect shooter and his arrows seldom missed the target). So, for my knee pain, I have at least 100 cures, almost all of them being Rambans! I started with a mix of turmeric, coriander and ginger powders, a spoonful to be consumed every morning with lukewarm lemon water. Then I moved on to Fenugreek seeds to be soaked in water over night to be had first thing in the morning. Then it was bottle gourd juice and aloe Vera. Then somebody forwarded a sure shot remedy ( Knowing this contact too well over the years, I was confident that this acquaintance must have had first hand experience and wouldn’t have just forwarded message received from elsewhere) – to put three drops of castor oil into belly button every night! This really looked promising as in our childhood, our elders advocated the virtues of putting a drop of oil, albeit a different oil, mustard, inside nose and belly button for general good! I have since finished a few kgs of powder mix, fenugreek seeds, a few litres each of bottle gourd and aloe Vera juices and several bottles of castor oil, but my knee pain has refused to budge even an inch! If it all, it has only worsened. And this is not limited to knee pain or me! My wife has tried concoctions guaranteeing weight loss in a fortnight and my friends have tried suggested cures for almost every conceivable ailment – BP, constipation, height gain, eyesight, grey hair, muscle formation and what not! They are all like they were before, if not worse.

Not everything on social media is truth and especially in the matters of our body and health, we should not get carried away by false, untested and tall claims, but follow the old fashioned time tested way of seeing the doctor next door. The larger message here, however, is that far too much disruption and polarisation are being caused by sensational unconfirmed rumours doing rounds on social media. Like we have to be careful with our body, let’s also exercise care and caution with our heart and mind instead of blindly believing and getting carried over by this stuff on social media!

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