Social media simply didn’t exist when I started my nursing journey. The internet was just starting to properly take off. I still remember my GCSE computer studies teacher taking us into the special room where the computer of the future was kept. It had this thing called “Electronic mail” and “windows”. We were all suitably star-struck as we returned to our BBC computers to program yet another flashing impossible triangle.
Dinosaur that I may be, I have embraced social media in several of it’s forms. I even dabbled with Tic Toc before deciding it wasn’t really for me. I think the turning point came when I learned how to use social media rather than allow it to use me.
As a nurse, I’ve found social media to be connecting, positive and educational. The nursing community is rich and diverse and I love the challenges and innovation it fosters.
Going forward, I think there is so much more we could be doing. Here are a few (hastily written!) thoughts:
- Connectivity – connectivity is key. I think communities such as We Nurses have done so much to teach and support nurses on social media and foster a culture where we can thrive as a profession.
- Amplification – amplifying our collective voice can be very powerful. The flip side is, of course, that where the voice is a dissenting one there can be pile-ons! We need to be respectful in this and allow debate and divergence.
- Patient-professional interaction. I think there is huge scope here to do so much more – the #WhyWeDoResearch community has some great examples of how this could be done well and I’m sure there are probably many more.
- Learning – learning in it’s many forms… Social media has the potential to reach many people at many times and to be highly interactive and engaging. I think this is something definitely good to keep developing.
So there are a few thoughts. I’d love to hear what others think as well 🙂