Privacy begins at home

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Last week when I was in the Netherlands (See “Putting the ‘Global’ in SMUG”) I had the opportunity on Wednesday to help lead a couple of master classes on Web 2.0 for health care communicators from UMC Radboud, one of six academic medical centers in the Netherlands, in Nijmegen.

I often like to demonstrate Skype and its videoconferencing capabilities (and the fact that it’s FREE) in my presentations. It’s one thing to say, “Skype is like the video phone in The Jetsons.” That gets heads nodding. But it’s entirely different to show just how easy and cool it is. So I have sometimes Skyped with my daughter Rachel and granddaughter Evelyn, and also have done videoconferences with Darrin Nelson (a Mayo patient from Rochester, NY who shared his story about robotic heart surgery here, here, here and here on Sharing Mayo Clinic.) In those cases I had sent messages on Facebook (for Rachel) or Twitter (for Darrin) to arrange the times for our conversations and to ensure that they would be available.

Our Wednesday morning master class in Nijmegen went off flawlessly, as @JohnSharp and @CiscogIII and I tag-teamed as teachers, but in the afternoon they had to head back to Amsterdam, so I was on my own (along with my host, Lucien Engelen.)

I was doing fine until I got to the reference in my slides to Skype, and then I got what I thought was a great idea: I went to Skype and saw that my lovely wife, Lisa, was on-line.

So (on the spur of the moment, not to mention a classic case of y-chromosome poisoning), I decided to just “surprise” Lisa with a Skype call without advance warning. I’ll let the Facebook conversation she started tell the rest (click to enlarge):

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Lesson Learned: Privacy isn’t just something to be concerned about from a HIPAA perspective. It begins at home.

And a special note of thanks to Lucien for providing his own peace offering (although he personally had done nothing to offend), in the form of this beautiful bouquet of roses, pictured below next to my now fully showered bride of nearly 25 years.

Picture 11

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Author: Lee Aase

Married father of six and grandfather of seven, and the Chancellor of SMUG - Social Media University, Global. By day I'm the Director of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network. Whatever I say here is my personal opinion, and doesn't reflect the positions of my employer.

12 thoughts on “Privacy begins at home”

  1. Dear Lisa,

    Thank you once again for lending Lee a couple of day’s. With his knowledge and tips & tricks from his Mc-Gyver method we’ll make Healthcare better. Since through the use of Social Media what i call participatory Healthcare can be boosted.
    And yes we díd see his blushes, at THE very moment he’d discovered some went not perfectly smooth 😉

    Looking forward see the two of you again soon.
    Gr Lucien

  2. Excellent lesson for all! Social Media is still new to us “late” adopters (or old dogs) so there is still much to be learned about new standards for privacy and etiquette!

  3. Oh heavens! Yes, I could see my husband being not-so-happy with me for doing something similar (we have slight role reversal, so I would be the one to do this to him – but won’t!).

    Good advice to think before using any of these fun tools!

  4. Lee, this is hilarious! I heard bits of the story around the office that day but did not have the full “picture” until now. You are a very fortunate man . . .

  5. Lee, thanks for making yourself oh so human.

    When we see people from big organizations talking about using social media, its easy to assume that they know everything.

    Its easy to be intimidated by the conversations that’s ongoing or in trying to start one yourself.

    I appreciated the very real presentation you gave on your own humble beginnings recently in Madison WI for the AAF. It helps even to those of us firmly entrenched in the world of social media, It also helps us be creative with how we implement social media.

    You provided great incentive on Flip video use. So I did a video blog post while I was traveling to a soccer game in the car. I will try and be brave and post it today on my blog. Note to everyone, its easier to do this with some type of velcro on the dashboard so you don’t have to hold the camera.

    Thanks again for the great presentation and for your blog and SMUG university.

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