This month it will be three years that I have been writing this blog. Every Sunday, I have never missed one. It took me a long time to find the right "voice," the way in which I wanted to write and about which subjects. At first I was not sure it really mattered. Would anyone really read these comments?
Then I discovered the true power of social media. Whether it's writing a blog, a tweet, LinkedIn, or an instant message, it allows me to communicate with thousands of people at once. It cannot replace in-person or direct communication for important subjects, but it supplements and communicates broader messages quickly. I will often walk down the hall and be stopped by a colleague in transport, nursing or therapy who wants to comment on something I had said personally or an item of content in a blog.
It connects us, creates common ground, allows people who don't know me well, to understand how I am trying to create a common vision for St. Joseph's.
At the same time, I have seen social media not be used in the right ways. People posting things that are so personal in nature they hurt another individual or make comments after a blog that are racial or disparaging. The technology is so easy to add to the conversation, why not instantly make that comment. Almost an extension of our brain.
I am still trying to decide what should go on that Facebook page, or in that tweet, and what needs to remain private.
Included below are two graphics I found. First, the rules adopted by the US Olympic Committee describing how to and how not to use social media, and another from Adobe describing all the opportunities to engage in using this new communications discipline.
We are moving from the industrial era to the age of technology. It's changing everything we know, and how we relate. It's opening up the world and the conversations we have.
How we utilize social media in health care to improve care, keeping the patient first, is still a discussion that's evolving.