Have you ever found yourself wondering about something? What’s the first thing that comes to your mind to find out the answer? I’m guessing, but chances are you might just Google it. Check Pinterest for a recipe? Maybe message a friend over Facebook for a great place to eat? Check Twitter for the latest news? People flock to the internet in today’s world to find out information of all sorts. Much of the information comes from social media including blogs. In my opinion, therapists should blog or at the very least be active in social media to be a part of this exploding internet culture.
By The Numbers
According to Health Online 2013, clinicians are still the number one source for health information. According to Pew Research Internet Project 85% of american adults use the internet. Health Online 2013 of those 85% of online users, 72% of the respondents say they looked online for health information of one kind or another within the past year.
People today have many different ways that they can access the internet. According to a Mobile Health Survey in 2012, 91% of people have cell phones and 63% of those use the internet on their mobile device. One in three cell phone owners (31%) have used their phone to look for health information. Smartphone owners lead this activity: 52% gather health information on their phones, compared with 6% of non-smartphone owners.
Times Are A Changin and Have Changed
We know that 85% of people use and have access to the internet today. In 1995 only 14% of people were internet users (Internet Adoption Study). I think back to sitting at home trying to get on the internet to check my first email account (which I still have today) and waiting for the dial tone to connect me. It was a slow process!
Today’s use of the internet and social media is rapidly growing, expanding, and readily available. Remember that 1 in 3 cell phone users are now using their phones to look up health care information. Two years ago this wasn’t the case. In a national survey done at that time only 17% of cell phone owners had used their phones to look for health advice according to Mobile Healthcare 2012.
I truly don’t imagine that there will be a decline in these numbers, only continued growth and faster, easier ways to access the online world. My thought is there is no use in fighting what is happening. Online and easy access to information is how the world is going so you might as well jump aboard and not take a back seat and let things pass you buy. I don’t think I’m the only one who goes crazy if I forget my smartphone for a day, right?
I know I’ve heard others say that they are nervous to start a blog because they don’t’ want to break any rules. True, I don’t want anyone breaking any rules. Generally speaking, a little bit of common sense goes a long way. When online be the same professional that you would be offline.
Consider your entire online presence. I wouldn’t ever put anything online that I wouldn’t want my boss to see. As a blogger I have a separate profile for my blog on all social media accounts, however I adhere to these same principles in my personal accounts as well.
Be aware of social media policies. The APTA has developed a social media policy for physical therapists. This policy was only just developed in 2012! My favorite social media policy is that of the Mayo Clinic. I don’t think that they could sum it up any better in 12 words: Don’t Lie, Don’t Pry, Don’t Cheat, Can’t Delete, Don’t Steal, Don’t Reveal. Common sense at it’s finest.
I never intended ever to be blogging about anything related to my job as a pediatric physical therapist. As a new mom, I was quick to learn what a void there was for information from a professional in regards to baby development. There was plenty of misinformation and information from others who didn’t have the educational background.
My blog quickly started evolving into more of a blog where I could use my knowledge to spread accurate information over social media as well as include just a few of my projects. I learned that I wasn’t as good at doing DIY projects or cooking as I wanted to be so I never had enough good pictures for projects like that on my blog. My blog quickly connected me with other therapy bloggers. I found that I learned so much to promote my professional practice as I was doing more research and connecting with other therapists. I found that through my blog I was becoming a more informed therapist as well as informing others. I also found I really liked taking and editing pictures 🙂
Get On Board
So what is holding you back? Blogging doesn’t have to be something that takes over your life. It can be just for fun or on topics that you are passionate about. Write as little or as much as you like. Get the information out that you think is important and that you want others to know. Why not get your personal brand started? There was a great article that a fellow occupational therapy friend shared that discussed why therapists should blog and have an online presence. This article in particular referred to occupational therapists but I feel it is the same for other therapists as well.
Not quite ready to blog yet but would like to get the right message out? Be sure to check my posts on using Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter to promote your professional practice. Social media is a great way to send messages but also learn from others in your profession!
I Would Love To Hear From You
Tell me what you think about blogging and social media! Do you have more questions? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or stop by one of my social media avenues so that we can connect! I can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!