Throughout my courses I’m becoming increasingly interested in the use of social media in health professions education. And no, I’m not just referring to those students who browse through Facebook instead of participating in class.

Much like most things in my life, my foray into the realm of technology was accidental. My first real experience with computers beyond Microsoft Office and The Sims was formatting the school newspaper in high school. Truth be told, I initially only got involved in this because I thought the guy in charge of formatting was really cute. So I guess you could argue that was actually fairly intentional. However, I quickly realized that I had a real knack for design and technology. For a while I even considered pursuing communication design instead of nursing.

I was slightly slower on the uptake for social media. My first social media accounts were Nexopia and MySpace, although my use of them was pretty sporadic. I eventually gave in to peer pressure and signed up for Facebook, but I wasn’t particularly interested in social media until graduate school. By this point my friends and I had all dispersed across North America, and social media became an easy way to keep in contact with friends and family. My parents also find it useful for keeping up with my latest hair colour (it’s a little embarrassing for all parties when they don’t recognize me at the airport). Over time I have also come to recognize social media’s significance within healthcare and health professions education.

Social Media 101 Blog Series

Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be running a blog series on social media, namely its usage within health professions education. In this series I hope to achieve three goals:

  1. Provide a brief overview of social media tools;
  2. Explore social media’s actual and potential usage within healthcare and health professions education;
  3. Explore professional and ethical issues surrounding social media’s use within healthcare and health professions education.

 

In memory of James Babalos (1987 – 2016), whose kindness, patience and boyish good looks spurred my interest in technology.

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