Social Media Principles
Social media is a part of all our lives. It is entertaining and informative, allowing us to connect with individuals and brands, and to access and share timely news. Social media has such enormous power, it’s critical to use basic etiquette while interacting with other users. Best practices are merely a high-tech version of old-school manners, from avoiding heavy self-promotion to maintaining a respectable presence on a social platform. However, because the online world moves at a much faster pace than the physical world, it’s vital to consider the impact of our words, photographs, and videos before sharing them with hundreds or thousands of people.
Social media helps to increase the visibility of the nursing profession and the critical role that nurses are playing in our health care systems and communities worldwide. With that in mind, the American Nurses Association (ANA) has created a set of principles to help nurses get the best out of social media while safeguarding themselves, the profession, and their patients:
- Be aware of your audience. Make sure that the content of your posts is appropriate for the people who will be seeing it and may share it with others.
- Maintain your professionalism. Avoid posting anything that could be considered unprofessional or inappropriate, such as photos or videos of patients.
- Know your social media policy. Familiarize yourself with your employer’s social media policy and adhere to it across all the social media platforms that you choose to use.
- Secure your social media profiles. Review and set-up the respective privacy settings for the social media platforms that you choose to use.
- Share credible information only. The dissemination of credible and reliable information protects the health and well-being of the public.
- Engage with respectful content. Do not share content that is harmful, disparaging, racist, homophobic, or derogatory.
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