The Pros and Cons of Social Media for Healthcare Professionals
September 28, 2015
In this technology-driven time, it would be impossible to think that your employers would want you to stay away from social media use.
With that being said, there are certain pros and cons of social media usage that you need to be aware of. You should strive to make good judgment calls when commenting, posting, and sharing via social media sites.
Social media offers many benefits when it comes to professional development and maintaining relationships that, 30 years ago, would have been much more difficult. However, as with anything, with the good, comes to bad.
Here are the most relevant pros and cons of social media for professionals, or those of you about to enter the professional world.
The Pros and Cons of Social Media:
The Pros of Social Media
The Cons of Social Media
|1. Social media has the ability to spread information faster than ever before.||1. Social media has the ability to spread misinformation faster than ever before.|
|2. Government agencies can use social media to track and catch criminals.||2. Users are exposed to privacy intrusions by government agencies and corporate entities.|
|3. Social media stimulates debate and the spread of educational information.||3. Social media is a huge distraction for students who manage time poorly.|
|4. Social media improves relationships that otherwise would be difficult to maintain.||4. Social media can lead to stressed offline relationships.|
|5. Social media helps to empower women in the workplace.||5. Social media pushes people to waste their time.|
|6. Social media sites help employers fill positions and job-seekers find work.||6. Social media can harm job security and employment prospects.|
|7. Being active in social media can improve quality of life and reduce health problems.||7. Social media usage is correlated with personality and brain disorders, such as the inability to hold in-person conversations.|
|8. Social media facilitates face-to-face conversations.||8. Social media causes more people to spend less time holding face-to-face conversations.|
|9. Social media helps with economic growth.||9. Social networking sites harm employee productivity.|
|10. Social media helps seniors feel more connected to society.||10. Social networking sites promote sexting.|
|11. Social media allows for quick and easy dissemination of public health and safety information from reputable source.||11. Social media encourages amateur advice and self-diagnosis of health problems.|
|12. Social media spreads academic research to a wider audience.||12. Social media enables cheating on school assignments and exams.|
|13. Universities and colleges use social media to recruit and retain students.||13. Social media use can harm a students’ chances of college admission.|
|14. Social media posts cannot be deleted and information can have unintended consequences.|
|15. Social networking users are more vulnerable to security attacks.|
Whether you know it or not, you represent your hospital/clinic and the nursing profession as a whole with every single post, photo, or share you submit on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. The key is to learn the tricks and tips that will help you keep your posts respectful, clean, and appropriate for everyone.
The Dos and Don’ts of Social Media:
The Dos of Social Media
The Don’ts of Social Media
|1. Be proud of your profession. Whether you’re at work or not, you’re a representative of your field and your employer.||1. Don’t violate HIPPA! Take patient privacy very seriously and do not post anything that would violate it. Stay familiar with the privacy rights of your patients.|
|2. Share good news and information about your employer and profession.||2. Avoid using hashtags and other identifiers that would tag you, your coworkers, or your employer to compromising photos or posts.|
|3. Speak highly of your employers new developments and accomplishments.||3. Never bash your employer or patients on social media. This is a good way to get overlooked for that promotion or outright lose your job.|
|4. Keep in mind that social media is a very public forum and is representative of your and your life.||4. Don’t click the “post” or “tweet” button if you have any reservations. If it feels even a little wrong, it probably is.|
As a healthcare professional you have to remember that you are a steward of the people and have a ton of vulnerable patient’s most personal information at your disposal.
It is easy to get caught up in using social media as a therapeutic outlet, but don’t forget that people trust you and nobody wants their embarrassing stories blasted on the internet even–if it is anonymous.
Trust your gut and never post anything online that you don’t want haunting you forever because once it’s published it will never totally be gone.