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It’s Social Media Week

February 11, 2011

I’m not a social media officianado, but I have reaped benefits over the years, using it both for personal and professional networking. It can be a reaffirming, career-changing experience. Or it can be a total waste of time. I find that it has done a bit of both for me, actually.

Is it just a fad? A bubble that will burst? It doesn’t really matter. Do it if you like it, don’t if you don’t. It seems like it is such a significant part of our lives that having a special week dedicated to it easily goes unnoticed.

Blogging has:
– let me share my experiences and have them normalized by others, kept a record of my best and worst moments
– helped me fundraise for a health mission overseas and for a Multiple Sclerosis Research Fund
– exposed my opinions to scrutiny (a good thing!)
– connected me with people and branches of medicine that have influenced the direction I’m travelling in
– given me 3 seconds of fame every once in a while which, although I’m not too good with the spotlight, is validating in that it makes me feel that what I’m writing is sometimes worth reading
– not gotten me sued yet

Twitter has:
– connected me with like-minded health care people across the country
– gotten me answers faster than any e-mail (my preferred method of communication) or phonecall ever did
– provided me with distraction in the form of laughs and camaraderie on those slow call shifts
– probably wasted a lot of my time

Linked-In has:
– done nothing for me so far! (there are no shortage of jobs in medicine so I’m not sure when I’ll look to this site for help)

Facebook has:
– remained a place to connect with long-lost friends and family
– helped make me feel “connected” when my career and physical location can be quite isolating
– never felt like a comfortable space for creating a professional presence
– cheered me up with goofy quips or get-well-soons when I needed them (or helped me do the same for friends in need)
– annoyed me with a pretty clear lack of respect for its users (though I hold no illusions of privacy)
Has social media done anything for you?

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