Facebook, Twitter, and online nursing communities are great resources for keeping in touch and communicating with friends and colleagues alike. However, while utilizing these online networking sites, it is easy to blur aspects of our professional and personal lives. The question is, should we?
As healthcare professionals, there is a delicate balance between our personal and professional lives and the amount of information we should share concerning each. Similar to other professions, there is a growing concern of overexposure of employees. Some organizations have very strict policies prohibiting their employees to post profiles on social networking sites, while others are less restrictive.
One thing is certain however; as nurses, we should follow a few guidelines limiting the risks of compromising our personal and professional lives.
- Create a unique and non-specific username. This will provide you with privacy online, while still affording you control of who you reveal yourself to, and when.
- Be aware that some potential employers are searching online for information about you. What would your LinkedIn profile say about you?
- Take the time to learn privacy settings. There is no need to post your phone, email and physical address. Let others send you a private message online instead.
- Inform your friends, family and colleagues of your request for privacy. Make sure they do not post any pictures or comments of you that you don’t want to share online.
- Be open to new contacts. Professionally, increasing your network of contacts is always a good thing. It is alright to reach out to fellow nurses, as long as you send them a private message first introducing yourself and why you are reaching out to them.
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