Social Media and you

by jadelpn Guide

6,277 Views | 23 Comments

And when I say "you", as nurses we are really two "yous" the nursing you and the personal you. And why sometimes, never the two should meet. Social media can marry the professional you with the personal you. And not always with the intended results...

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    Social Media and you

    Social media has taken a front seat in how people communicate. For younger people, it is one of the main components of effective communication. For older people, it connects you with people that you perhaps have not seen in years, a new friend that you want to get to know better--easy and instant access 24/7/365. People comment. People post. People get offended. How many times have you heard "why didn't you answer my friend request?" "Why can't I see your social media page" "why am I unable to 'follow' you?" If you do not want people to know your personal business, keep it off of social media. Or limit your social media to people that you DO want to know your business. Social media is the information highway on crack.

    People know more about you from your social media postings then much else. You are the life of the party, you are always included, you can be reached and reach others at any time. Which can be a big "DANGER" sign to nurses.

    As nurses, we are bombarded in the art and science of caring for others. It can be emotionally and physically draining. For a number of nurses, being "on" all the time takes it toll. To balance a personal and work life is paramount to maintaining composure, to focus on other things, to have an alternate life outside of work. Off time is important, and every nurse has to re-generate at one point or another. On a different vein, after hearing patients in the worst times of their lives for a shift, to go home and log on to social media, we have those friends who again we read about how awful their life is. Keep your social media to your funny, engaging, positive friends. That thought process is akin to caller ID. Remember (or some do) when you had to pick up the phone without knowing who was calling? Not many of us had answering machines either, so if you were not home, you missed calls. If you were on the phone, you got a busy signal. Pre-historic times. But gave the ability to be "off" and to be truly "off". Ultimately giving you the control of who you speak to/communicate with and when and how.

    When a nurse has developed a theraputic relationship with a patient, sometimes it is seen as a "friendship". We, as nurses, are intimately involved in the care and treatment of our patients, which in some circumstances can be portrayed as a more personal relationship than actually exists. Sometimes comes the question "are you on ________" (<--insert choice of social media here).

    Blurring the lines of what could be thought of as personal and professional is not an easy decision for some to make. And it is not always a patient. Sometimes, co-workers want in on our personal lives as well. All of this makes it difficult for a nurse--who is mindful of tactfully saying and doing things as to not offend to make decisions on who (if anyone) can have a glimpse of our lives outside of work.

    Employers or potential employers DO "check" one's social media page. Nurses have been disciplined for pictures, comments, and other inappropriate content (which is so subjective, but never the less) based on, in part, listing one's employer publically. As a good rule of thumb, if you are going to make it know that you are working at XYZ Facility, it would behoove you not to then state "My work stinks".

    Regardless if you list your employer on your social media or not, it is never a good idea to share pictures of your work place. Or of you and your patients. Or allow a patient to take your picture. That can be a sticky thing to get out of, however, you should never have a work picture taken that you are not in control of.

    Social media is meant to be fun. However, it is also can be a soapbox for those whose intentions are not good ones, are not clear, and just plain spiteful. There are privacy settings. But this is still not a guarantee that you can not control what is being posted on your public forum. So proceed with caution. The best rule of thumb that I have learned is that if you wouldn't admit it to your mother, then don't put it on your social media.
    Last edit by Joe V on Jul 9, '13
    sharpeimom, Esme12, BloomNurseRN, and 6 others like this.
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  3. About jadelpn

    jadelpn joined Nov '08 - from 'Massachusetts'. Age: 48 jadelpn has '25' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'ER, Med Surg'. Posts: 3,178 Likes: 6,720; Learn more about jadelpn by visiting their allnursesPage


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    23 Comments so far...

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    AN is the only social network I'm on. Facebook, Twitter, MySpace (does that even still exist?), Instagram, etc are all on my blacklist.

    If someone needs to get ahold of me, they have to *gasp* call or text me! And sometimes, when that happens, we have an actual *gasp* conversation!

    How do I live without Facebook? People like to ask me that question.

    To which I reply, very well, thank you.
    zephyr9, MassED, HouTx, and 7 others like this.
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    As a people watcher, I like to see what people post.
    I have certainly seen some cringe-worthy things that I rather wish I hadn't learned about the people I know...
    There is one person I keep on my list just to see how ridiculously tacky she can get
    It's entertainment, I guess.
    However, I steer clear anything work related and really don't post at all, myself.
    If other people want to complain about work on FB, well, they can do what they want, but I personally think that's a bad bad idea
    zephyr9, priorities2, Dazglue, and 4 others like this.
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    I post here.
    I used to have a FB account and decided I didn't like the person posting under my name. (Me).
    It limits the complications in my life, and I'm all about living simple.
    zephyr9, MassED, GleeGum, and 3 others like this.
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    I had facebook, and it can be very consuming! When I went to orientation for nursing school in May, they strongly cautioned us about social media. The school and clinical sites regularly check what the students post - for anything that might be inappropriate (as you said, very subjective), any thing that mentions the school or clinical site, or HIPAA violations.

    I decided right then that since I had worked so hard to get into nursing school, I was deleting my facebook account. Anything I say could be used against me. It's just not worth it.

    I don't blame the school or clinical sites. They have to guard the privacy of the other students, teachers, and patients.

    I don't intend to get facebook back. I'm much happier not knowing what others are up to.
    zephyr9, Nathifalr26, VickyRN, and 2 others like this.
  8. 1
    Quote from SoldierNurse22
    AN is the only social network I'm on. Facebook, Twitter, MySpace (does that even still exist?), Instagram, etc are all on my blacklist.

    If someone needs to get ahold of me, they have to *gasp* call or text me! And sometimes, when that happens, we have an actual *gasp* conversation!


    How do I live without Facebook? People like to ask me that question.

    To which I reply, very well, thank you.
    Can anyone tell me the point of texting? Why not call the person? In addition, you are creating a digital record of your personal messages. I'm baffled. Old fashioned and out of touch, also, I gather?
    HouTx likes this.
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    Quote from michiganstudent
    I had facebook, and it can be very consuming! When I went to orientation for nursing school in May, they strongly cautioned us about social media. The school and clinical sites regularly check what the students post - for anything that might be inappropriate (as you said, very subjective), any thing that mentions the school or clinical site, or HIPAA violations.

    I decided right then that since I had worked so hard to get into nursing school, I was deleting my facebook account. Anything I say could be used against me. It's just not worth it.

    I don't blame the school or clinical sites. They have to guard the privacy of the other students, teachers, and patients.

    I don't intend to get facebook back. I'm much happier not knowing what others are up to.
    Is FB more convenient than email or phone calls? Just as I'm confused about texting, I'm more so about this strange site. I don't get it. Why do do many people want so many other people (including the entire planet, for those of you that still believe in any sort of online privacy) to see everything they say to people? It's weird, and creepy. Anyone?
    zephyr9 likes this.
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    I'm on FB and Instagram....though partly for different reasons....I have 3 teenage daughters! (yes, i have their passwords...) I don't post much and NEVER about work. You bet I watch my girls like a hawk.
    SE_BSN_RN, motherof3sons, and LeahAZ like this.
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    I'm on Facebook and Twitter. I enjoy Facebook as a way to interact with a lot of people I don't get to see regularly and would like too keep up with. I think twitter is fun because it's little snippets. That being said, I did NOT post anything about nursing school openly on Facebook or Twitter, nor would I do that regarding work. It's best not to put those things out there and then you never have to worry about it being appropriate.

    Also, I keep my Facebook private, only allow friends to view my information, and everything on my Facebook page is something I wouldn't mind the public (i.e. prospective employers) seeing (well, expect the pics of my kiddos).
    SE_BSN_RN likes this.
  12. 4
    Facebook is convenient in that I was able to have private chats with faraway friends in real time - say late at night when I wouldn't dream of making a phone call. If the green dot was next to their name, they were online. Since I have friends and family in other time zones, it did help us stay in touch.

    The consuming part wasn't me posting. It was reading and getting a chuckle over cute anecdotes or pictures of my friends' kids, mostly. Kids say the darndest thing, you know.
    midmichiganRN, JDZ344, SE_BSN_RN, and 1 other like this.


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