What do clinicians, social workers and other care workers new to the world of digital really want to know about social media? You might think it would be the joys of online professional networking. Or you might think it would be how social media can be used to enhance day-to-day practice. If so, you might well be wrong – as I found out when delivering a workshop this week.
What I learnt is that first and foremost people need to have their worst fears acknowledged and discussed. And this works best in a training session when they have an opportunity and space to work it out for themselves – with a bit of guidance and support and a few examples.
It’s like the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – you can’t even begin to contemplate self-actualisation if you haven’t even got your basic need for shelter sorted out.
Here are the top five questions in our workshop that people wanted the answer to – I’m hoping you will be kind enough to share your thoughts so I can incorporate responses from people with different points of view into my workshops – people using health services through to health and social care practitioners, managers and digital specialists. I think these will be much more useful and meaningful to people carrying these fears than just from me.
What do I do if someone I support @mentions to me on Twitter that they are suicidal?
Can a personal Facebook account be completely private? What if I post a picture of me a bit the worse for wear on a night out – isn’t that ok? Don’t I have a right to a private life?
I’m worried – what if someone I support bad-mouths me or complains about me on social media?
What if I recommend a social media platform to someone I am supporting and something bad happens or it makes them feel worse?
How on earth do I find the time to use social media? Isn’t it just loads of extra work on top of everything else?
I’ve no doubt these questions will result in all sorts of reactions and responses. For example, I wonder if people using services will think ‘why on earth do professionals think we’re going to spend our time trying to connect with them on Twitter?’
If you’ve got any thoughts, or worked out the answers to any of these questions yourself, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the table below. Big huge thanks to Anne Marie Cunningham @amcunningham for setting up the table for me!