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How to Facebook
How to Facebook. SJ Dodgson. MJoTA 2015 v9n1 p0212

Not for nothing was the CEO of Facebook a multi-billionaire in his twenties. Mr Zuckerberg, who is rapidly rivaling Bill Gates in his zeal to give large cash donations to institutions doing good, built on the communications revolution that Bill Gates helped create.

When I was at home in Australia, we had a heavy black telephone in the hall outside my mother's room. We had to stay home if we were expecting a phone call, and while waiting, we wrote lots of letters. Because the best way to communicate with anyone was by post. This had been true in 1914-1918, when several members of my family went to fight the Germans, and in 1939-1945 when the children of the survivors went to fight the Germans again, and was true in 1986 when I met a German. I eventually married him, and gave birth to 2 German children.

And then, in 1995, the year my mother died, the black phone in the hall (in 2015, it remains in the hall) the whole world exploded. We all used our phone lines to dial onto the internet so the computers we all had because of Bill Gates, could talk to each other. And during the same year, mobile phones became affordable, and a new class of drugs called anti-retrovirals turned HIV/AIDS from an incurable disease to a chronic disease.

In 2005 a new form of communication was invented in Harvard dorm rooms: that became Facebook. I joined on 2007, and became active on it in 2008, and really did not understand it until 2009 when I realized I had immediate access to my own brothers in Australia, to girls I went to school with, university friends and former colleagues and students. Since 2010, after a huge marketing effort across sub-Saharan Africa, mostly aimed at selling mobile phones, I started actively communicating with friends and colleagues directly inside Nigeria, Kenya, Cameroon. During the Syrian chemical warfare crisis of 2013 I was able to speak to Syrians inside Syria who were experiencing the devastation of war first hand.

Facebook has opened up the world for me. I do not ever post pictures of food, or restaurants, or grocery stores, because some of my Facebook friends lack access to good food. I occasionally mention family members so that my friends know I am not a robot, and I care deeply about the things they care about: the right of every child to grow up healthy and educated.

When a member of the Philadelphia African community was wrongly arrested and jailed, we opened up Facebook groups and rallied community members so we crowded the courtroom at each hearing until the judge got sick of us and dismissed the charges. When 20 members of the South African Congolese community were arrested in Feb 2013, we rallied through Facebook click here. Real things that impact real lives happen because of Facebook.

I have started teaching classes on medical writing and communicating health topics in a secret Facebook group; and am working with a sub-Saharan co-operative on a project in another secret group. In order to join the secret group, you must open an account on Facebook, and you must be invited by the administrator, because the group cannot be found with search engines.

Some people, for personal or professional reasons, do not want to be found by search engines on Facebook. Facebook permits a veil of secrecy. The picture posted can be of a puppy, or a flower. The name can be a secret name.
1. Make up a secret name. How about Puppy Flowers. And a password, something with numbers and small and capital letters.
2. Go to, make your email address something you will remember and will use only for your Facebook account, how about, and use your password.
3. Go to You are asked for a username, which is Puppy Flowers, and an email, which is, and a password, which you have. Upload a picture of a puppy in a flowering bush, and you are ready for the next 85 years of the 21st century.
4. Friend me, Wanjiru Susanna J Dodgson, by finding my page and clicking on the button that says "add friend". (I was given Wanjiru in Kenya in 2008. The story of Wanjiru is similar to the story of Susanna: strong women wrongly accused, saved by angels.)
5. Once I am your friend, you can "send me a message" which will be an instant message displayed at the bottom right of your page. And you can chat with me in real time. Or I can read the message later.
Medical Writing Institute, because incorrect health information kills, click here