LIVE from the NEXT Conference in Chicago, Jenna Kantor guests hosts and interviews the teams from the Oxford Debate which covered the question: Is Social Media Hazardous? The Pro team consisted of Karen Litzy, Jimmy McKay and Jarod Hall. The con team consisted of Ben Fung, Jodi Pfeiffer and Rich Severin.

In this episode, we discuss:

-How each of the debaters prepared and crafted their arguments

-Bias and how to research a question openly

-The importance of respectful debate on controversial subjects

-And so much more!


Jimmy McKay Twitter

Rich Severin Twitter

Ben Fung Twitter

Jarod Hall Twitter

Karen Litzy Twitter

Outcomes Summit: Use the discount code LITZY


For more information on Jimmy:

Dr. Jimmy McKay, PT, DPT is the Director of Communications for Fox Rehabilitation and the host of five podcasts in the category of Science & Medicine. (PT Pintcast, NPTE Studycast, FOXcast PT, FOXcast OT & FOXcast SLP.)

He got his degree in Physical Therapy from the Marymount University DPT program and a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from St. Bonaventure University. He was the Program Director & Afternoon Drive host on the 50,000 watt Rock Radio Station, 97.9X (WBSX-FM).

He has presented at State and National Conferences. Hosted the Foundation for Physical Therapy research fundraising gala from 2017-2019 and was the captain of the victorious team in the Oxford Debate at the 2019 NEXT Conference.

Favorite beer: Flying Dog – Raging Bitch

For more information on Rich:

Dr. Rich Severin, PT, DPT is a physical therapist and ABPTS certified cardiovascular and pulmonary specialist. He completed his cardiopulmonary residency at the William S Middleton VA Medical Center/University of Wisconsin-Madison which he then followed up with an orthopedic residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Currently he is working on a PhD in Rehab Science at UIC with a focus in cardiovascular physiology. In addition to research, teaching and clinical practice regarding patients with cardiopulmonary diseases, Dr. Severin has a strong interest in developing clinical practice tools for risk assessments for physical therapists in a variety of practice settings. He is an active member within the APTA and serves on the social media committee and Heart Failure Clinical Practice guideline development team for the cardiopulmonary section.

For more information on Karen:

Dr. Karen Litzy, PT, DPT is a licensed physical therapist, speaker, owner of Karen Litzy Physical Therapy, host of the podcast Healthy Wealthy & Smart and creator of the Women in Physical Therapy Summit.

Through her work as a physical therapist she has helped thousands of people overcome painful conditions, recover from surgery and return to their lives with family and friends.

She has been a featured speaker at national and international events including the International Olympic Committee Injury Prevention Conference in Monaco, the Sri Lanka Sports and Exercise Medicine Conference, and various American Physical Therapy Association conferences.

 For more information on Jodie:

Jodi Pfeiffer, PTA, practices in Alaska, where she also serves on the Alaska Chapter Board of Directors.




For more information on Jarod:

Jarod Hall, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS is a physical therapist in Fort Worth, TX. His clinical focus is orthopedics with an emphasis on therapeutic neuroscience education and purposeful implementation of foundational principles of progressive exercise in the management of both chronic pain and athletic injuries.



For more information on Ben:

Dr. Ben Fung , PT, DPT, MBA is a Physical Therapist turned Digital Media Producer & Keynote Speaker. While his professional focus is in marketing, branding, and strategic change, his passion is in mentoring & inspiring success through a mindset of growth & connectivity for the millennial age.



For more information on Jenna:

Jenna Kantor (co-founder) is a bubbly and energetic girl who was born and raised in Petaluma, California. Growing up, she trained and performed ballet throughout the United States. After earning a BA in Dance and Drama at the University of California, Irvine, she worked professionally in musical theatre for 15+ years with tours, regional theatres, & overseas ( until she found herself ready to move onto a new chapter in her life – a career in Physical Therapy. Jenna is currently in her 3rd year at Columbia University’s Physical Therapy Program. She is also a co-founder of the podcast, “Physiotherapy Performance Perspectives,” has an evidence-based monthly youtube series titled “Injury Prevention for Dancers,” is a NY SSIG Co-Founder, NYPTA Student Conclave 2017 Development Team, works with the NYPTA Greater New York Legislative Task Force and is the NYPTA Public Policy Committee Student Liaison. Jenna aspires to be a physical therapist for amateur and professional performers to help ensure long, healthy careers. To learn more, please check out her website:


Read the full transcript below:

Jenna Kantor:                00:00                Hello, this is Jenna Kantor with Healthy, Wealthy and Smart. Super excited to be talking here because I am at the NEXT Conference in 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. And there was an awesome debate an Oxford debate and I’m with almost all the team members. So that being said, I want to just interview you guys on your process, especially because everyone here is either extremely present on social media or uses social media. So it’s funny that we had these two opposing teams really fighting different arguments here where everyone pretty much is on the same page that we all use social media. It’s great for business. There’s no denying. So as I ask my questions, would you guys say your name because people aren’t going to necessarily, well maybe for some recognize your voice and also say what team you were on, whether it was team hazardous, which was correct me, Jimmy, which was the pro argument. The pro argument was saying that social media is hazardous and then the Con team was team Blues Brothers, which I’ve learned from Ben Fung it would have been the star wars theme except it had already been used in the past and they needed to be original. So that being said, I want to start off with #teamhazardous. What was your individual processes with finding your arguments since each of you are very present on social media?

Jimmy McKay:               01:39                Jimmy McKay team #hazardous. I think first of all, this was a very difficult argument for our opponents because, well, first of all, we didn’t get to pick which sides. A lot of people think that we’ve vied for the sides. We were literally just asked if we wanted to do the Oxford debate and then been given a side and given a team. So I want to make that very clear. I think they did a great job. I was keeping track of all the points that I would’ve hit if I were on that side, I thought that was the uphill battle. Because people, when they found out we were pro social media it was like, oh, you don’t like social media. But if you read the prompts for a debate very closely, it’s like, is it hazardous?

Jimmy McKay:               02:18                Not is it good or bad? Right? So we agreed like all the things that the con side said, we agree with it’s fantastic. It should be utilized. But just like PT why do we take the NPTE for example? Because if improperly used physical therapy could be hazardous. So that’s why we take a test that makes sure that we’re a safe practitioner of physical therapy. So, my thought process was I went on social media and wanted to grab all the kits, right? Like emojis and gifs and videos and Beyonce doing dances because that’s what people resonate with. But then focus on the things where I think it falls short. Everything falls short, right? There’s no Shangri-la and social media is no different. So just focus on the issues that stood out, right.

Jimmy McKay:               03:01                So all I had to do is can I just ask, what do you love about social media? Like what irks you, you know, what are things that you wish were better? And as you heard from tonight, I think in past Oxford debates, sometimes it was hard to get four or five speakers to ask questions. And I think they had to cut them off because everybody, it resonates with everybody and it’s super personal, right? I mean, what was the stat? How many people, I mean minutes that people spend a day, 140, 116 minutes a day

Jimmy McKay:               03:29                It’s probably hard, so it’s super personal for people but I think again, the argument from the other side was just is really hard. I mean, I think you guys were put in a corner. But here’s the funny part. Like you defended it, I think you defended that corner pretty well. So that was my process.

Karen Litzy:                   03:50                Hi, Karen. Let’s see, #teamhazardous and yes, this is also my podcast, so that’s, yeah.

Karen Litzy:                   04:00                So my process was pretty easy because I had just spoken about social media and informatics at WCPT in Geneva. So I was able to use a lot of that research and a lot of that information to inform this debate. And what I wanted to stick to was, I wanted to stick to the idea of fake news, the idea of misinformation versus disinformtion because there are different and how each one of those are hazardous. And then the other point I made was that it’s not individual people, it’s not individual groups, it’s not even an individual platform. But if put all together, all of the platforms add in misinformation and disinformation, add in people who don’t know the difference between something that’s factual and not. So if you put it all together, then that’s pretty hazardous. But the parts in and of itself maybe aren’t. And then lastly that social media is a tool we need to really learn how to use it as a profession because it’s not going anywhere as the team concept. It’s not going anywhere. So the best way that we can reach the people we need to reach is by using it properly and by making sure that we use it with integrity and honesty and good faith.

Jodi Pfeiffer:                 05:22                Hi, I’m Jodie Pfeiffer. I was for the con team blues brothers. I got to be the lead off person as well. So I really just kind of wanted to set the tone. It was a hard argument. Everybody uses it. I would like to think most people try and use it well we know this isn’t always the case and it is a really useful tool for our association and for our profession. But there are times when it is not, we were trying to just, I was trying to set the stage for my other team members to give them things to work off of, give everybody a little introduction of the direction we were going. And I also tried to play off of our opponents a little bit as well because you know, really their argument that they made so well kind of proved both sides, how good it is and the hazards. So yeah, that was the direction that I went.

Jarod Hall:                    06:20                This is Jarod Hall. I was on the pro team #teamhazardous and I remember when I was asked to be on the Oxford debate panel, the same day I was scrolling through social media of course, and I saw Rich Severin on Facebook saying, Hey, look, I was selected to be for the Oxford debate. And I thought, man, he’s super well-spoken. This dude knows his stuff. He’s going to come in strong. And then like I checked my email an hour or two later and I had been asked as well and I was pretty floored. I didn’t know what to say. And they’re like, do you want to do this Oxford debate and what side do you want to be on? And of course I said, I’m super active on social media. It’s been helpful for me to find mentors and it’s really positively influenced my career. I want to be on the side that’s pro social media. And they said, cool, you’re on the opposite side.

Jarod Hall:                    07:21                And I thought to myself, oh, ouch. Okay, I need to look at this subjectively. You know, I need to, I need to step back away from the situation and look at ways that either I myself have been hazardous on social media or things that I’ve seen that were hard for me to deal with on social media. And, when Karen and Jimmy and I were strategizing, you know we kinda came up with a couple of different points. We wanted to 8 mile, you guys, we wanted to 8 mile the other team and kind of take the bullets out of your gun. We wanted to address the points that we knew you would address. And Karen did a really awesome job of that because we knew you guys were gonna come with such a strong argument and so much fire that we had to play a little bit of defense on the offense.

Jarod Hall:                    08:07                And Karen got everybody hyped up and then our strategy was maybe, go the opposite way in the middle with me and maybe bring a little bit of the emotional component the other side of emotions and have people reflect on what does it feel like to feel not good enough? What does it feel like to see everybody else’s highlight reel on social media when in reality, you’re doing the day in the day out, the hard grudge, the hard trudge, you’re putting in so much hard work and all you see is everybody’s positive stuff around you. And it can, it can be a really defeating feeling sometimes. So we wanted to emphasize, you know, a lot of the articles that have been coming out across the profession about burnout and how that could potentially be hazardous. And you know, obviously we’re all in favor of the appropriate usage of social media and when done the right way.

Jarod Hall:                    08:55                But to take the pro side of this argument, we had to reflect on how could this really actually pose a hazard to us both personally and professionally. And, you know, I think that that’s one of the things that directed our approach. And it was a hard thing to do to take the opposite side of, you know, how I position myself. But, all of my own errors on social media were really good talking points and learning points to drive home the discussion. And, you know, we just knew that the other team was going to have such a strong argument. We knew that it’s really hard to ignore the fact that social media has connected us. It has allowed me to meet everybody sitting at the table with. It’s allowed me to have learning opportunities and mentorship and it’s allowed me to have business opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. So we knew that the argument was just, it was going to be tough to beat. And, you know, I think that the crowd just resonated with everything that was said from both teams. And at the end of the day we were able to shed light from both sides on a really difficult topic and have people, you know, reflect on it and really have some critical thought.

Ben Fung:                     10:10                Ben Fung here. I was a part of the con team. So that was so difficult. Pro Con. So I mean like it was interesting. I had a very similar experience when they asked me to be on the Oxford Debate. They’re like, hey, you know, we’d like you to captain the team. I was like, okay, great. What am I debating? Or like, then when they would actually did tell me, they’re like, oh, it’s about social media. I was like, okay, yes, I’ll do it. And then they’re like, okay, you’re on the con team. And so immediately I thought like, Oh, I have your job. Like I have the team, you know, #Hazardteam, I needed to somehow slam on what much of my success had been attributed to, you know, and I was like, okay, that’ll be a tough job.

Ben Fung:                     11:01                Right. And then what’s interesting is that, you know, then they sent me the prompt and I was like, oh no, no, no, I’m against the against statement. So I’m pro social media and, you know, then the other side I can promote this. And it was actually only in retrospect that I was like, oh, it can be an uphill battle. But then I decided just personally not to think about it from that perspective, from my, you know, debating approach cause we’re trying to present, you know, we’re trying to present a point, more importantly, just engage the audience, you know, because, the Oxford Debate in the past, for the most part it’s been really positive and entertaining. But then in some past years have gotten a little too intense I think for the audience and some afterthoughts.

Ben Fung:                     11:40                So I just wanted to make sure that the thumping in the background stops, but also that you know, people were engaged, entertained, you know, that generally said some critical thought. You know, like those might’ve come into this being maybe a con member goes over to pro and vice versa. But really, you know, it was just really, really fun. You know, as people, I was like, you know, I know all these folks, it’s going to be so much fun. And you know, if we can bring even like an ounce of the kind of energy that I know we all have and put it together, that stage is just going to be vibrant. So, you know, from what I can tell, that’s what happened. And, you know, I’m very pleased regardless of who won, but congrats you guys though. You guys did a great job.

Rich Severin:                 12:32                And this is Rich Severin, was on the con team, which is again this incredibly difficult to kind of, yeah, team blues brothers. That’s a better way to go about it. Everyone’s said it, you know, this was, it’s a difficult topic. You know, I asked like, who were, you know, were on the other teams, you know, realizing that, you know, we’re going against some of the people who have, you know, some of the largest profiles in PT, social media and Karen and Jimmy and like, they have a really tough task here. I’m interested to see how they’re going to go about this. Cause it’s like, I even, I was like, man, I’m kind of glad I met on that side, but I don’t know if I could somehow think of a tweet quoting me and like saying, ‘PTs social media is hazardous’ or whatever.

Rich Severin:                 13:12                But anyway, realistically the Oxford debate, you know, it’s to present a topic that’s challenging, that’s facing the profession and dissected and debated. And that’s kind of the beauty in having fun. And I think everyone there had fun. I had a lot of fun. And it was just, it was just good. And I think, you know, the pro team, or #hazardousteam, you know, they did a really good job. It’s not an easy topic to debate because again, social media is kind of a tool in a lot of the problems are kind of the human nature in a certain stance on a platform. But, you know, addressing the issues of burnout, addressing the issues that people wasting time, fake news, misinformation, you know, those were our, you know, those were all good things, but you kind of brought to light throughout that debate.

Rich Severin:                 14:04                And I think our group, you know, came across with obviously with a good argument, but, you know, Karen came on the short and a little bit today. But, you know, it was a great spirit’s good spirited debate. It’s a lot of fun. It’s a great time and having these conversations about tough issues, having to kind of take some time for introspection and looking through things was enjoyable. And enjoying hearing other people kind of, you know, doing the same. You guys definitely did like, I think put a lot of time into researching and discussing topics cause it’s a serious issue, you know, our younger populations growing up using social media in middle school, you know, and it will, you know, the topic I thought you guys would get into was like the bullying and esteem issues that are happening and the mental health issues, anxiety, depression, it’s linked to social media, you know, and whether or not that’s the cause or it’s a vehicle for that outcome.

Rich Severin:                 15:03                So like, you know, I do agree with the safe  #safesocial, right. Like you know, and it kind of led to like kind of on our side too. It’s a tool and how you use it, it’s kind of really an issue and I think you guys brought a really, really good light to that issue. So yeah, I was like, it’s a great spirited debate and the crowd had fun. I mean dressing up as the blues brothers in Chicago, right? I mean, so, so much fun.

Jenna Kantor:                15:28                Thank you so much. Now, I just want to leave it. Not Everybody needs to answer this, but I would like if anybody would like to do a little last words in regards to this debate, whether it be some sort of wisdom on doing an Oxford debate in general or pretty much what rich started to do on when he was just last talking in regards to social media being hazardous or not so hazardous. Would anyone here like to add onto that as a little like last mic drop, which is your outlet.

Rich Severin:                 15:54                I think we’ve hashed out the debate on both sides pretty well. Which I think, again, it’s the spirit of the debate is they present both sides. And that’s kind of where I’m getting yeah. Is that we need to have more of these kind of conversations and discussions. And you know, to me it’s almost kind of a shame that this is the only really time in our profession. Like, you know, at a high level where we have these discussions where both sides do their due diligence and say, like, legitimately argue, like, you know, and like arguing is not a bad thing. Right? Debate is not a bad thing if it’s done well done amongst colleagues and friends and with mutual respect and we need to have more of that.

Rich Severin:                 16:39                Social media is not necessarily a bad thing, but arguments necessarily a bad thing, but it’s how you go about doing it. So, you know, I would encourage the profession to have more of these outside of just the Oxford debates. Well, when it was the women’s health section, they did one on dry needling a couple of years ago and that was awesome. And I’d really encourage and support that again, you know, so that’s my little, I don’t know if it’s a mic drop or not, but we need to debate more and do it well.

Karen Litzy:                   17:29                Rich, I totally agree with that. And this is the thing, we were able to do that because we were in front of each other and we knew that there is no malicious intent behind it. We can hear each other. We know that we’re smiling at each other, we’re clapping for each other and we’re kind of building each other up. And I think that’s where when you have debates on social media, as Jarod attests to and Rich, sometimes those spiral into something that’s really not great. And so I think to have these kinds of discussions in person with our colleagues and it’s good modeling for the next generation. And it just, I think, you know, social media has a lot of great upside to it. There’s no question, but there is nothing that beats in person interactions.

Karen Litzy:                   18:20                And I think that that’s what we need more of and I do see that pendulum shifting and you do see more in-person things happening now. But I agree. I also thought it was like a lot of fun and I was really, really nervous to do it and super scared to get up on stage and do all of this. But then once it started, it was a lot of fun.

Jenna Kantor:                                        Thank you so much you guys for taking this time, especially after, literally right after the debate. It is an absolute pleasure to have each of you on here.


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©2019 Karen Litzy Physical Therapy PLLC.
©2019 Karen Litzy Physical Therapy PLLC.