Facebook: Should I Just Give in and Join?

  1. Ok, so I feel like I might be one of the last under-30-year-olds on earth without a Facebook account.

    I've mainly resisted because I'm just a very private person, but lately I've been reconsidering. I'm starting an RN program in the fall; at orientation they had students who had just finished their first year come talk to us and all seemed to be very enthusiastic about how useful the class Facebook page was. Also, as an introvert I've never been great in the friend-making department and if I'm being totally, pathetically honest I guess I'm afraid of feeling sort of generally left out as well.

    I guess what I'm asking is:

    1) Do you feel like connecting with classmates on Facebook was genuinely helpful to you as a nursing student?


    2) Is it true that employers look at Facebook when hiring? I'd never post drunken photos or friend patients or anything stupid like that, but would not having a Facebook page be some sort of a red flag?

    Any insight would be appreciated, thanks!
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    About ScientistSalarian, RN

    Joined: Jun '13; Posts: 211; Likes: 305


  3. by   csmcj
    Even if you don't use it for personal reasons, I think it would be worthwhile to sign up just to have access to your class page. I know ours is extremely useful; students can help each other when stuck on assignments, information about tutoring sessions goes to the page, tutors often post review material before tests, info on volunteer opportunities, etc.
  4. by   britpanda
    In our program, our Facebook page is almost our sole source of exchanging information, study tips, and just generally venting about the stress we are going through. It is the most useful tool we have! I would definitely join just so that you can participate in the group stuff...you don't have to complete your profile and you can set it to completely private so it wouldn't be an invasion into your life.
  5. by   FDW630
    A different perspective: Im under 30, I don't have one and won't. I had one in the past so I am familiar with it. My study buddies in school both have one and have access to our class page so I have seen that also. I don't find it helpful at all, and neither do my friends. Maybe its our class, but I don't trust anyone else's study guides or materials. I'm meticulous with my own notes to the point of OCD. I also never delete an email, check my online class PAL page several times a day, and write the lab/class/clinical hours and phone numbers in my binder. That's about what is posted on our class page. That, and the "president" of the page trying to sell her crafts to everyone in class. It would be more of time suck for me than a help, so I'm not caving. Quite a few classmates found it helpful, though.
  6. by   DisneyNurseGal
    I am my class President, and I set up a Facebook Page for our class. Joining was optional but everyone in my class joined the page, and it as been IMMENSELY helpful, students post homework questions, talk about scheduling confusion, ask for clarification on topics - it is the first place anyone goes for questions. If you have a group project, it is easy to set up a group chat to talk about things. One of the main benefits, even if you never post a thing on it, is to know that you are not alone. One of your classmates might post "THIS HOMEWORK IS KILLING ME!" - and you might be feeling the same way.
  7. by   thejadedmonkey
    Quote from ScientistSalarian
    I guess what I'm asking is:

    1) Do you feel like connecting with classmates on Facebook was genuinely helpful to you as a nursing student?


    2) Is it true that employers look at Facebook when hiring? I'd never post drunken photos or friend patients or anything stupid like that, but would not having a Facebook page be some sort of a red flag?

    Any insight would be appreciated, thanks!
    The helpfulness of a class Facebook page depends entirely on the class participating in it. I know that's a terrible non-answer, but it's held true in my own experience. My class Facebook page was pretty much worthless, but I've seen other class pages which were amazingly helpful.

    Something you might want to consider though is that many (hopefully all!) of your classmates will eventually become RN's. Facebook is a convenient tool to network with your classmates and to stay in touch with them post-graduation. You never know when a former study buddy might suddenly tip you off to a great opportunity down the road. It'd be a shame if they heard of an opening, immediately thought of you, but then couldn't get in touch to let you know, right?

    I can't speak for employers and their stance on Facebook, but I will say that I have seen several nursing students expelled from their programs due to misuse of social media. It seems like you're aware of this issue from your post, but seriously, HIPAA is an amazingly broad and powerful piece of legislation. I've never heard of a nursing student who deliberately violated HIPAA; it's always a tragic underestimation of the scope of protection HIPAA provides. Tread carefully if you do decide to join the Facebooking masses.
  8. by   LoriRNCM
    I have been big into facebook for a few years and it has been an invaluable networking tool for my bulldog rescue activities. I already set up a page for my college nursing class of 2015.I will post cartoons, study tips, etc., but not too much. It's a tool for the other students to use. As far as future employers, I think LinkedIn has become the big networking tool.
    Last edit by LoriRNCM on Jun 20, '13 : Reason: Specify "my college" facebbook
  9. by   pmabraham
    Good day:

    If you join, some food for thought:

    1. Set up your privacy, and thoroughly go through all of the settings.
    2. Check out that you can have groupings of friends based on friend type: acquaintance, close friend, custom list.
    3. Do be extremely careful and thoughtful of what you post, and for whose (public, all friends, friends except for acquaintances, close friends, custom list) viewing especially in light of HIPAA as well as postings being used against you.
    4. Remember that no matter whom you chose for the post to be seen, it's still out there for the public as well as various governments to take, see, read. I.e. don't think that the privacy settings and the who can see list settings will protect you from hackers, NSA, etc.
    5. Don't let the friends count be a number game where your value or the value of being on Facebook is determined by that count. Just as in real life, be picky as to whom is a friend, acquaintance, close friend, etc. Set appropriate boundaries keeping in mind the point above.

    Thank you.
  10. by   classicdame
    Don't know how to answer the first question. I only use Facebook to keep in touch with a VERY FEW people. If my family lived closer I would drop the account.

    As for employers, my HR dept does not have time or incentive to search Facebook regarding new hires. If it is reported that someone is using any social media to violate HIPPA, then HR will go to the trouble and expense of getting transcripts. People have been fired over inappropriate use of social media. Just be smart about it.
  11. by   AgentBeast
    Just say NO to Facebook.
  12. by   Stephalump
    Our Facebook is pretty useless to anyone who knows how to use a planner and write things down. No one posts their notes or study guides. It's mostly just people asking...what day is our final again???! Come to class or read the syllabus and get your own dang answers.

    I'm sure since you don't want a Facebook at all you'll be smart about what you share. "I'm so stressed!" is fine. "I hate professor so-and-so and everything she does!" Isn't quite so fine. I've been in a situation where someone printed off other student's complaints without permission and took them to the teacher.
  13. by   MrChicagoRN
    It may be helpful in receiving updates from your school, coordinating study groups, carpooling to a clinical, etc.

    Go ahead and join, and set your privacy settings.

    After all, there's no requirement that you actually post anything you feel is private...or even anything at all.
  14. by   MommaTy
    I think if the nursing groups are on Facebook then join. And if your profile is set to private anyone looking at your profile can not see anything until you accept them as a friend. Good luck.