Put it Down

images (11)Revolutionary, it could change the world, and mind-blowing were some phrases used to describe social media when it first came out. People were finally able to connect personally with their loved ones who lived miles away or on the other side of the world by engaging in pictures and videos showing off their new home or new life. We all thought it would be revolutionary but has it always been as great as we once thought it would be? Social media has started to affect our mental health and well-being, lowering self-esteem and assisting in eating disorders. What happened between it being revolutionary and now? Here are some health effects of time spent using social media.

The addict

Too much times spent using social media can be detrimental to your health. So much so that researchers have created a scale related to Facebook addiction called the images (2)Berge Facebook Addiction Scale (BFAS). The scale uses six different criteria to measure levels of Facebook addiction. Some examples include, “you spend a lot of time thinking about Facebook and planning how to use it”. The scale also uses words like “often” and “very
often” to get users to rate their time and experiences with Facebook. If four out of the six criteria are used frequently, then a Facebook addiction is present. Facebook is described by users to be used for things such as gaining attention and boosting self-esteem. However, Facebook does not always have such positive affects on people, unfortunately, sometimes the opposite happens and that is where we begin to have a problem.

Stress and eating disorders

Social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook have recently led to negative physical effects such as eating disorders and high levels of stress in high school students and college students. These negative effects come from the fact that people want to share their positive experiences but hide their negative ones. For example, the Facebook posts I put up will, most of the time, be happy, fun experiences. I love to post about my trips and fun weekends. However, the hard here is that I do not post mid-week struggles. I don’t want to shout out to the world if I’m having a bad day, I would rather conceal it. This is where the harm lies. If everyone only thinks my life is happy and great, that’s not real life. It makes others think less of themselves as if they don’t have as great of a life as mine… which is not true AT ALL! This sad downward spiral has led to these sad disorders.

How to improve?

We get it, this is sad and depressing, but how can we fix it?

Put it down

Did you hear that? Put. It. Down. If you’re talking with another person, lay your phone down. Engage in a human conversation of reading body language and facial expressions. Trust me, its mimages (16)uch better and easier to get their point than trying to read into a text or Twitter post of plain words. A good rule of thumbs to keep in mind is to only use your phone if you could pretend to talk on it, and not be rude. For example, if my friend or co-worker is trying to talk to me, I would think to myself, would it be rude to be talking to someone on the phone right now? An actual call? Of course it would! Not that I would actually talk on the phone, but texting, surfing social media, or even checking my email is just as rude to engage in while someone is carrying on a conversation with you as talking on the phone. Keep that in mind.

Game changer

A 19-year-old Instagram star quit social media and made a huge impact. Since then, she has encouraged everyone to know that “social media is not real life.” She has also launched her own website called Let’s Be Game Changers in order to inform others how destructive trying to gain approval online can really be.

Food for thought…

It is so easy to get caught up in social media. Trying to keep up with friends, family, and fashion has become almost a full-time job. It is so easy to only post things that flatter you, make you look good, or make your life look easy. We have all fallen guilty of posting the “best” picture. I encourage everyone to take a step back and see how this is impacting others. Take time away from social media to spend real time with friends and family.

 

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Did I say that??

What is ethics you may ask and what does it have to do with health content? Ethics are all about the moral principles that control how we act and our behaviors. Have you ever download (7)wondered what ethical rules health organizations are held to when posting on social media? What about doctors and nurses? Are they allowed to post anything they want even on their private social media accounts? As always, here are several ethical things to keep in mind when posting health content on social media…

For Healthcare organization…

  • Stay positive

When posting anything health related, wither mental health, physical health, or emotional health, always try to stay positive. When you’re ill or feelindownload (8)g down, the last thing you want to hear is the slightest bit of negativity or bad new. Cheer things up! Share
positive stories about recovery. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation prides themselves in being a positive healthcare facility to all. Check them out!

  • Read before you share

Surprisingly enough, a lot of people do not read, or do not fully read articles before clicking the share button. Read! Know what information you’re sharing. I’m guilty, we probably all are but it can start here.

For doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals…

  • Stay professional!

For the love of God please stay professional!! Doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals should not be posting binge drinking on social media or sexually suggestive photos! It gives the wrong idea not only to your friends and family but also especially to clients, co-workers or people ranked over you. Do you have complaints about another doctor or know someone who does? Follow this link to report a state complaint to the medical board.

  • Just stay away

Avoid questionable things such as holding an alcoholic drink or making political comments. If a patient were to look you up, they could deny treatment from a doctor due to certain political beliefs. Save yourself the trouble and just stay away. Some doctors have download (9)admitted to unprofessional behavior in this study. Badmouthing other doctors and finding medical reasons not to care for a patient are demonstrated in this study and are DEFINITELY things to avoid.

I know it is not always easy to hold your tongue… it’s one of the things I struggle with the most! However, in this case, it holds the risk of loosing your job… that’s a big deal. Direct your energy somewhere else, encourage readers, it could get you a lot farther than a lost job.

Evaluation Nation

Evaluation is a vital part of planning in our daily lives. For example, when going to the grocery store, we evaluate the price of different brand items if we want to buy the stshutterstock_44222080ore brand or a name brand. We also are evaluated on our health if we are
healthy enough for physical activity or to fly on a plane. Evaluation is a key element in our daily lives that also apply to healthcare organization’s social media.

Healthcare organizations must also evaluate what they put out on social media before posting anything. How can a healthcare organization make the content they post worth evaluating? What can they put out there that would make their organization be chosen over a different one? Here is a list of to-do’s in order to be chosen over the “generic brand”.

Do understand who your audience is

When you know when your audience is then you can know how to reach them. Aim for a high conimages (13).jpegversation rate. Be humorous, meaningful, and having a deeper understanding of your audience. This will in turn, increase your business value. Women’s Health does a great job of this on Facebook by posting intriguing and humorous articles. Their page gets a lot of feedback both directly to them and from others.

Do expand your reach.

Yeah, yeah… everyone says that but how? If you only have but so many followers then you can only reach but so many people. False. If one of your followers thought you had an interesting piece of information or they got a good laugh out of it, they are likely to retweet it. Then not only have your followers seen it, but all of their followers have also been reached by your tweet. Be interesting. Make note of what types of information people like the most. Maybe there is a certain time during the day that you get more likes. Keep posting during those times. Soon your reach will soar. The Mayo Clinic does a great job demonstrating reach on Twitter. They tweet during the highest traffic times of the day posting shorter tweets and articles earlier in the day and tweets with more information later in the afternoon when they know their followers have more time to read full articles.

Do involve media

Video has quickly become the fastest storytelling medium in the market. Jump on the train because it is taking off somewhere fast and may never slow down. Keep your videoimages (14)s short between 30 seconds to 1.5 minutes; people want to get the facts and information quickly. Show a video of a backstage tour. Show them scenes they have never seen before. Be creative and spark their interest. Soon a lot more than just sneak peaks will intrigue them. Girls on the Run Grand Strand does a great job of posting inspiring and educational videos throughout their twitter. A lot of their media content involves different videos of real-life stories or live feed videos from their 5k races.

Overall, a plan needs to be set in place as to how you’re going to grab their attention. Think about if your health organization is going to spark interest. Is it going to get people talk? Are they going to want to repost it and contribute in a Facebook discussion about it? With this type of mindset, your followers will never get bored.

Why Strategy?

Have you ever been thrown into something without having a clue what to do or even where to begin or end? Everyone and everything needs a general idea of what to do or where to go… we all need a strategy. A strategy is simply put, a plan of action to get to your overall aim. download (6)Strategy is a key elements in our daily lives that also apply to healthcare organization’s social media.

Healthcare organizations must rely on strategy when putting out any healthcare information.

Here’s a list of what do to when putting out healthcare content on social media.

 

Create a Strategy…

Who?

Decide who your target audience is. The first step in any plan is to decide whom. Once you’ve decided this, then you can plan how to target your audience. Everyone is different and how you market or reach them will be different too. For example, there is a Facebook page titled Parents of Type 1 Diabetes. This targets a very specific audience of people. This page allows parents to talk, discuss recent problems or situations, comment on others post, and post local camps or diabetic activities.

Keep it simple

Do not overwhelm your reader by putting too much information or writing lengthy paragdownload (5)raphs. This could cause the reader to disengage and not read your information at all. Make it easy to read by putting bold headings with shorter summaries under each heading. Make the headings easy tips with information that short and to the point. Or caption your pictures with short captions that grab attention and link somewhere that they can find more information about the topic. The Red Cross does a great job of this on twitter. They tweet short messages and almost always post a link at the bottom so that their followers will know where to find more information.

Hear and be heard

One of the greatest things about posting information on social media is the publics’ ability to respond. A lot of times people will leave a comment with more information or asking anything from a simple question to an opinion about something. Listen! Hear what they have to say and leave a comment back answering them or giving advice. This ultimately makes your site more valuable to the public. They know they can get a quick response back if they are stuck in a bind. No one wants to be ignored. Never stop listening. For example, Texas Health Resources uses social media both or internal use and for community building. They use their social media to connect with each other, share comments, and message each other back and forth.

What’s in it for them?

Answer their questions. Give them a reason to keep coming back to your site. Like the example I gave in the beginning when choosing between a store brand or a name brand, give your readers reasons why to choose your site. Give good infAdvocate-Health-Care-Logoormation, make it clear, and be accessible. Advocate Health Care has an amazing Instagram page that posts both videos and pictures along with helpful links. They post videos of how to do things such a CPR and fun facts. This keeps their readers both informed and entertained.

 

Personally…

I think following healthcare organization of social media is a great idea. For one thing, I literally learn something new every day. I am a picture person so I love to scimages (11)roll through Instagram and just look at pictures. I love when hospitals or doctors offices post fun facts of the days. It is an extra bit of trivia to put in your back pocket and pull it out anytime you want to impress anyone or sound informed. My advice to all of you is to find organizations that fit your personality and follow them! It does not have to be about diabetes or something you’re diagnosed with. I love to give blood so I follow the Red Cross to see what blood drives are popping up in my local area. If you’re not into that then follow healthy recipes or easy workout boards on Pinterest. Keep it easy and fun you will always be informed and entertained.