Social Media, BAD for Your Health?

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“Social media is bad for you? Are you serious?” Yes, I am, and it could be! Teenagers and young adults have the highest population percentages when it comes to using various social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. And guess how much they are using these social media platforms…Digital Trends reports that people using social media check their accounts more than seventeen times per day (a lot,right?).

“So what’s the problem with that?” People use the excuse it is a “mobile world” to use social media frequently throughout the day. However, on average, a social media users is not suppose to use social media for over an hour per day. Now,with the social media content available, it could be damaging to your health….

HOW SOCIAL MEDIA IS BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH….

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Of course most people are probably saying “I am fine, social media is not affecting my health.” That is why I have included some information on how social media could be bad for your health:

  1. Changed behavior and addition. Kind of like when you are eating  your favorite ice cream and you can not stop eating it.Well, in this case, social media is your favorite ice cream. Using social media often becomes a habit. The more you use social media, the more you will feel the need to use it. Most habits turns into addictions. With an addition, you will be anxious to use your social media more and more every day.   
  2. Eating disorders. I am sure you are probably wondering how eating disorders are caused from social media. Well, Instagram and Twitter users often participate in monthly challenges that set limits on calorie intake and give workouts to follow, based on retweets or likes. Some of these challenges are very unhealthy  and they could often lead to users not feeling the need to eat.
  3. Comparisons.  Most people uses social media to show off their body and/or materialistic things. With that being said, everyone loves to think about what they don’t have, instead of what they do have. Having a tendency to compare yourself to your social media friends is not a good idea…and, it could cause stress (which is not good for your health).
  4. Self-esteem. Once you start comparing yourself to others, this is when self-esteem issues may come in. You may feel that your life is not as good as theirs, or you are not as attractive. Then, you may let your social media friend’s judgment (likes) of you, define you (and you should not). It will consume your mind, which will eventually cause habit on your health.
  5. Lack of sleep. Most people use their phones at night to scroll their social media accounts. Thirty minutes of scrolling turns into one hour, one hour turns into two. Before you know it, you have less than five hours before your alarm will go off. Lack of sleep can cause tiredness and irritation. Someone who has a lack of sleep are more likely yo catch colds, flu, and gastroenteritis.

HOW TO BREAK YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA “HABIT”….

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Now that you know social media could be bad for your health, I am sure you are wondering how to break your “habit,” or shall I say addition…

Time has an article that says a guy by the name of Allen boycotted his phone by pocketing it. Yes, that means no touching your phone….especially while talking to others (it’s rude). After Allen pocketed his phone for one week, he realized people liked talking to him more (that’s a bonus to breaking your habit, right?).

And if pocketing your phone won’t work, I have two tips that should help you:

  1. Make a schedule. Set times for when you would like to use your social media, then only use it at those times.
  2. Take up new hobbies. Find news things to do. With doing so, you will be distracted from using social media. Hey, you may end up loving your new hobby.

SHE DID IT, YOU CAN TOO! AN EXAMPLE….

I know you are thinking about applying those tips to breaking your social media habit (addition).

Well, you should definitely apply them. Instagram star, Essena O’Neill did and she is doing great.

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Essena said she felt social media was not real life, and she wanted to prove it. Without social media, she is now being productive by writing a book.

REMEMBER….

By limiting your social media usage, you could be saving yourself from addition, eating disorders, self-esteem issues, and a lack of sleep. Save your health….

Words of Knowledge,

 

Dekira Hemingway

Ethics Matters!

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More than eighty percent of the world’s population uses various social media platforms. It does not matter whether or not you are using social media for your healthcare organization, as a healthcare provider, or for your individual social use…..ETHICS MATTERS!!

If you are reading to find out what to do or what not to do to assure that you and/or your healthcare organization is in high ethical standards, then you are in the right place…..

FOR YOUR HEALTHCARE ORGANIZATION….

For your healthcare organization, it is very important to stay in ethical standings. Think about it, who would want to support an organization that does not know what to post and what not to post on their social media platforms? Here’s a list of ways to make sure your healthcare organization is in top notch shape when it comes down to ethics:

  • If retweeting or sharing a link, look at the entire content before posting. You never want to “skim” and assume the content is safe to post. MAKE SURE it is safe to post by reading the content!
  • Consider sharing positive stories about patient recovery, rather than only posting negative incidents. Do not be that debbie downer friend that always sucks up the positive energy. Debbie downers are not well liked. Share stories that will give hope and spread happiness.
  • Use people-first language rather than labels. Labeling is not good. Let your audience know that you understand what they are going through.
  • Never share other people’s information with permission. Everyone loves privacy, right? Respect people’s privacy.

FOR HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS….

Social media has made it a whole lot easier for healthcare providers to educate their patients, all while staying inform with the latest events in the medical field.

When using social media as a healthcare provider, always keep these three tips in mind:

  1. Ensure accuracy of information. Your patients are trusting your information. Make sure what you are posting is as accurate as possible.
  2. Maintain professional distance with patients. Try not to have informal interactions with your patients. In other words, refrain from inboxing one of your patients asking them where they are partying at.
  3. Patient privacy is important. Never reveal patient information, and make sure your privacy settings are secured.

FOR INDIVIDUAL SOCIAL MEDIA USERS….

As an individual social media users, we all tend to believe that is okay to say anything online…but, it is not! The Verge reported that they found no correction between social shares and people actually reading. Which goes back to what I said earlier about looking at the entire content before posting. When it comes to ethics, reading before reposting,sharing, and/or retweeting is one of the most important things you could do.

The second most important thing is to not be a racist. Mac Cosmetics had a racist encounter when they posted an African American lips on their Instagram account. Because it was their personal Instagram account, people assumed it was free will to post whatever they would like (racist or not).

A similar situation happened when Beverly Hills Realtor, Lauren Houston saw it fit for her to use her personal Instagram account to comment racist statements under a photo of African American and Hispanics protesters.

A screenshot of Houston's comments.
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Lauren Houston was later fired because of her comments.

NOW THAT YOU ARE ASSURED, ALWAYS REMEMBER….

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No matter if you are a healthcare organization, a healthcare provider, or an individual social media user, having high ethical standards are important!! Use your power to protect others, present a respectable opinion as your opinion, and give credit when credit is due.

 

Words of Knowledge,

 

Dekira Hemingway

 

 

How to Evaluate your Healthcare Organization’s Social Media

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Image via Marketing

By now, I am pretty sure your healthcare organization figured out how to use various social media platforms. And for that very reason, you are probably feeling like the cool mom who just found out what “LOL” means. But, even with knowing how to use these social media platforms, it is essential that you learn what works and what does not work for your healthcare organization. How will you learn that information, you asked? By EVALUATING!

For example, if your child is scared of clowns, I am almost positive you wouldn’t hire a clown for their birthday party. It is important to know your healthcare organization audience, just as well as you know your child.  Learning what your audience likes and does not like is critical when it comes down to the future of your healthcare organization.

So, if you would like to learn the do’s for evaluating your healthcare organization’s social media platforms, you are in the right place…..

DO: HAVE A GOOD PLAN

How are you going to start evaluating? Where are you going to start evaluating? All good questions to know, right? When it comes to evaluating your social media platforms, having a good plan is extremely important. Planning out content, knowing your healthcare organization’s goals, and using analytics tools makes it easier to find out what is working and what is not for your healthcare organization.

DO: USE ANALYTICS TOOLS

Now that I have mentioned analytics tools, did I mention that most are free? YES, I said FREE!!

Here are a few analytics tools that will help you determine if your healthcare organization is on the right path or not:

DO: USE SOCIAL MEDIA METRICS

Now that you have an idea of how and where you are going to start evaluating, it is always a good idea to know what you should evaluate. There are four social media metrics that are important to measure when it comes to your healthcare organization’s platforms:

  1. Conversation Rate- Everyone hates when they are talking to someone, but the person is not listening. Conversation rate lets you see you who is reading and interacting with your post. It is the number of audience comments/replies per post.
  2. Amplification Rate- The measurement to see how many shares/retweets/repost you are receiving from your followers.
  3. Applause Rate- You know how the class clown makes a joke, then looks around to see if his classmates are laughing? Yeah, that is approval. Applause rate is similar. With applause rate, your health organization is keeping track of the likes, favorites, and/ or +1’s your post receive.
  4. Economic Value- It is a tab bit more complication than the conversation, amplification, and applause rate. The economic value is the sum of short and long term revenue, as well as cost savings (The good stuff, right?).

NOW THAT YOU HAVE THE DO’S, HERE’S AN EXAMPLE….

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Image via Twitter

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital knows what works for their twitter account. St. Jude’s uses visual aids with their stories to  get the “applause” from their audience. Without visual aids, St. Jude’s applause rate was half the amount shown on the images.

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EXAMPLES ARE GREAT, BUT REMEMBER….

 

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You are in control of your healthcare organization’s social media platforms, which means you are in control of which direction your healthcare organization’s social media platforms takes. Using the right social media platforms, listening to your audience, and providing messages your audience wants are all apart of a good social media evaluation.

 

Words of Knowledge,

 

Dekira Hemingway

 

Social Media Strategies for Your Healthcare Organization

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Since you have probably heard of the numerous social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram , and Pinterest, I am sure you want to start using those social media platforms for your healthcare organization.

But first….I suggest learning social media strategies. I am pretty sure you are thinking “Why do I need to know that? Knowing how to operate a social media account is not rocket science.” Well think of it this way, would you buy a car from a car salesman if they did not know enough information about the car or how to sale it? Exactly. But have no fear, I have just enough information to share with you….and before you know it, your healthcare organization will be one of the best on all of the social media platforms.

#1: KNOW YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE

How are you going to know what to say if you don’t know who you’re talking to? It’s kind of like texting your grandma “LOL.” Chances are, your best friend would know what “LOL” means before your grandma does. So maybe you should not use “LOL” with your grandma.

Same thing applies for social media platforms. Before you start using your social media platforms, you have to know who your target audience is. Also,understanding what is important to your audience is key to increase the effectiveness of your social media efforts.

Knowing how the different social media platforms work and what time of the day most active users use them is an important key. For example, Facebook has the most shares at one p.m. and the most clicks at three p.m. By knowing this information, and your target audience, you would be able to get out the information intended for them.

#2: HEALTH LITERACY

Have you ever spoke to a baby and they looked at you funny? I am sure it was because they could not understand you. Literacy is important…..health literacy is even more important.

Only twelve percent of adults have proficient health literacy. Fourteen percent of adults have below basic health literacy. From these percentages alone, I can’t stress enough how important it is to have great health literacy. Make it easy for your audience to understand you…

Here’s a list of tips that will help with health literacy:

  •  Do not use jargons.
  • Give clear and concise information.
  • Keep messages short.
  • Write in a friendly but professional tone.
  • Engage readers.

#3: CREATING CONTENT

Creating content is important when it comes down to having multiple successful social media platforms. Relevant, useful, and interesting information are all the main ingredients when stirring up a pot of successful content for your healthcare organization.

Relevant information depends on the time, geography,audience, and your audience’s interest. Useful information is determined by whether or not the information you provide could help someone see their life in a new way or change their behavior. Interesting information will get and keep your audience attention (which is very important, if i must add).

#4: LISTENING  

Everyone loves to talk, but no one loves to listen. Please do not be the aunt that attends every family event and talks about herself the whole time.

Communication is fifty percent listening and fifty percent talking. By listening, you will straighten your relationship with your audience. By listening, your healthcare organization is leveraging potential opportunities for growth and maybe even damage control.

Listening to your healthcare organization audience will help you understand them better….which will eventually help your healthcare organization. So, LISTEN!!!

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NOW THAT YOU HAVE AN UNDERSTANDING….HERE’S SOME EXAMPLES.  

“Where do I start?” “How will I know what my social media account should look like?”

Wait, before you drive yourself crazy from thinking about it, I have a few examples.

Suicide Prevention Resource Center and the American Lung Association both does a great job when it comes to successful social media strategies.

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Suicide prevention Resource Center uses Facebook to listen to their target audience. They also use relevant information for the cause, and clear and concise information.

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The American Lung Association uses Twitter to give their target audience interesting and useful information. The American Lung Association also use health literacy well by keeping the messages short and not using jargons.

NOW THAT YOU HAVE EXAMPLES, REMEMBER…..

Having successful social media platforms is all about strategy. Use quotes, polls, infographics to help enhance your audience interest on your social media platforms. As long as you know your audience, listen, use health literacy and great content, your healthcare organization will have one delicious pot of success.

Words of Knowledge,

 

Dekira Hemingway