Interesting figures from jefbullas.com. These are the facts and figures from Twitter, my favorite microblogging platform. In this post he present figures and statistics for seven major social networks with embedded infographics for each social media network.
During our annual conference of the Dutch Association for Psychiatry we had an interesting discussion about the use of twitter for psychiatrists. Ethical as well as practical aspects of the use of twitter were discussed. The main question from the audience was: Why should we use twitter. We hope we could convince some of them of the advantages of using twitter.
My part of the session was a Twitter for Dummies session. In a short presentation I mentioned the most important rules to obey when starting with twitter as a physician.
In short these rules were:
- Use a short username with as few characters as possible since that name will be used to communicat with you on twitter in replies (@ messages) and direct messages (DM)
- When registering your twitter account make sure to provide a link for more information about yourself. I use a twitter landing page on my blog but most physicians as well as psychiatrists have a LinkedIn account. Use the link to your LikedIn account for more information about yourself
- Use a clear and nice picture of yourself as avatar, spent some money on a professional photographer to make a couple of pictures. They are always useful not only for on the web but also for several different badges and documents. Worth the money
- Never, ever use twitter anonymously as a physician. Patients rely on doctors for trustworthy information so let them be able to check your credentials
- Use your own background. They are easy to make or buy from several designers. If you have a website, logo, blog or any other way of publicly expressing yourself make sure the lay out of all these forms are more or less the same. Use at least the same colors, be recognizable on the web.
- You don’t have to follow those who are following you. In the beginning all the information might be overwhelming so start slow in following your followers
- Get acquainted with the jargon such as @ messages, DM’s and hashtags
- Use excellent software on your desktop such as seesmic or tweetdeck. Use a twitter client on your mobile devices
- Try it for at least three weeks
- A good to excellent book for twitter beginners is The Twitter Book by Tim O’Reilly and Sarah Milstein. I tried them all, this was simply the best
Do you have other suggestions please let me know in the comments.
We have been trying to use twitter during lectures, especially since the group is so large about 100 to 200 can only follow the lecture from another lecture room on a monitor. It wasn’t a success, the question time during and after the lecture was hardly used. Only 8-10 questions were proposed via twitter. The interaction did increase but only with those present in the same lecture room. These were bachelor med students. Next we tried facebook during a week with master med students. The number using the group was more than 100, which is probably around half of the med students.
This finding is also supported by a recent large study with health professions students. These students were in the following health professions: biotechnology, couple and family therapy, medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, public health, radiologic and imaging sciences, and pharmacy.
These students (56%) prefer online media as their primary source of information and most of them used facebook (77%). Very few used twitter or linkedin.
They use facebook for keeping connected with friends but also with other med students.
It is a no-cost, viral way of getting the word out about school events and programming and can be used to keep students informed of new classes, special lectures, holiday hours, special events,
and even emergency notices. Above all, it is about being social, allowing students a virtual meeting space to connect with alumni, establish school pride, announce reunions and sporting events, talk about group projects, interact with the community, and beyond.
The authors also suggest setting up fan pages not only for traditional school information but also for leisure activities.
I fully agree with another statement made by the autors
Instead of faculty reminding students to turn off their personal Facebook pages, they can instead direct them to class Facebook pages and use this networking tool.
Giordano C, & Giordano C (2011). Health professions students’ use of social media. Journal of allied health, 40 (2), 78-81 PMID: 21695367
Surgeons not being the most social animals among doctors, I was surprised to see 7 editorials about surgery and social media. These seven editorials highlighted the use of social media and different settings for surgeons, from medical school all the way up to the American College of Surgeons.
The most factual contribution was about the implications of social media such as twitter, blogging and facebook on the next generation of physicians. In this editorial a recent study was cited. They found a difference in the use of social media between residents and medical students. 13% of residents and 64% of medical students at the University of Florida, Gainesville had Facebook profiles. Suggesting a 6 fold increase in the number of social media users in the next generation of physicians. I think this is an underestimation. The authors also state that from the profiles of these residents and medical students 70% contained photographs with alcohol of which 10% to 50% implied excessive drinking. Furthermore, 30% displayed inappropriate images of overt sexuality, foul language, and patient privacy violations.
As a result, residents and medical students are at a comparably high risk of having their profiles viewed by unintended persons thereby jeopardizing individual credibility as well as that of his or her institution.
More positive were the contribution of medical students and residents. Some uses of medical students of social media:
- Communication among members of tutorial groups, the basis of the problem-based curriculum
- YouTube video clips of physical exam maneuvers and diagnostic procedures
- Using visual models found on YouTube for explanation of complex science concepts
- Watching operation procedures on YouTube to prepare the operation the next day
- Podcasts of live lectures so that they can access them out of campus, at the gym or during travel
- Orienting towards specialties by following on facebook applicable professional organizations for their field of interest such as such as the American College of Surgeons, the American College of Physicians, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
- The use of facebook to exchange experiences with residency programs
- and so on and so on….
Residents were very interested in physician-only online social networks. this editorial collected an impressive amount of these networks such as sermo, medscape connect, tiromed, and doctorshangout.com. They also emphasized the social aspect of social networking sites especially since they lack sufficient time to keep up with other networks than their working network.
Social networking sites can serve as an invaluable tool for keeping in touch with friends and colleagues from past educational and work experiences and for medical trainees to share news and photos with geographically distant loved ones.
All in all an interesting number of editorials in Surgery of varying optimism and content.
Tilt, A., Mermel, C., & Conrad, C. (2011). How surgical residents use social media Surgery, 150 (1), 5-6 DOI: 10.1016/j.surg.2011.05.022
Weinstein, A., Saadeh, P., & Warren, S. (2011). Social networking services: Implications for the next generation of physicians Surgery, 150 (1), 15-16 DOI: 10.1016/j.surg.2011.05.026
Wells, K. (2011). Social media in medical school education Surgery, 150 (1), 2-4 DOI: 10.1016/j.surg.2011.05.023
From a structured review of websites of 1800 US hospitals focusing on their Facebook, Twitter and Youtube accounts:
- 21% used social media
- More likely to be large, urban hospitals run by nonprofit, nongovernment organisations
- More likely to participate in graduate medical education
- Used social media to target a general audience (97%)
- Provide content about the entire organization (93%)
- Announce news and events (91%)
- Further public relations (89%)
- Promote health (90%).
In short, used social media for unidirectional communication.
Thaker SI, Nowacki AS, Mehta NB, & Edwards AR (2011). How U.S. hospitals use social media. Annals of internal medicine, 154 (10), 707-8 PMID: 21576547
In the latest issue of the JAMA the results of a survey is published. The authors did a search on physicians using twitter. They extracted the public profile pages of the physicians using twitter with 500 or more followers between May 1 and May 31, 2010. They analyzed the tweets of these professionals.
Of the 5156 tweets analyzed, 49% (2543) were health or medical related, 21% (1082) were personal communications, 14% (703) were retweets, and 58% (2965) contained links. Seventy-three tweets (1%) recommended a medical product or proprietary service, 634 (12%) were self-promotional, and 31 (1%) were related to medical education.
But what is somewhat worrying were their findings of potential patient privacy violations and conflicts of interest. Thirty-eight tweets (0.7%) represented potential patient privacy violations, of the 27 users responsible for these privacy violations 25 were identifiable by full name on the profile, by photo or link to their personal website. Twelve tweets were about a product they were selling on their Web site or repeatedly promoting specific health products, 10 were statements about treatments not supported by the official guidelines.
Using social media by physicians does broadcast useful medical information, unprofessional content in tweets by physicians is rare.
Chretien KC, Azar J, & Kind T (2011). Physicians on twitter. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 305 (6), 566-8 PMID: 21304081
In a recent study the conclusion about social networking sites and teens was that 93% of teens and young adults go online, compared to only 38% of adults over 65 years of age. It is surprising that 7% of 12-29 year olds still don’t use social networking sites. Twitter is the exception because it’s the only social networking site not often used by teenagers and young adults. Here you can read more about social media and young adults.
But why do some teenagers choose not to use social networking sites?
From a research with American college students participating:
disinterest, lack of understanding of the appeal of SNSs, and a dislike of engaging in presentation of the self through these sites as reasons for not engaging in SNS use.
From recent research in Australia with 69 out of 229 students (13 to 18 years (M 14.64 years, 40 out of 98 males, 29 out of 131 females) that reported not to use social networking sites the reasons underlying this non use were questioned.
The reasons were in order of importance:
- No interest or motivation to use them
- Social networking sites use was too time-consuming or detracted from time that they could be spending on alternate activities
- Preference for other forms of communication, like phone or MSN or face to face contact
- Preference for engaging in other activities. Such as watching TV, doing sports.
- Concerns about their cybersafety.
- Dislike of self-presentation online.
- Some students mentioned other reasons like limited access, parental concern or influence by friends who were not using social networking sites
The authors state in their discussion
Strategies for more engagement of the teenage market would include the notions that SNS use can help to save time (e.g., interactions with friends but without the time taken to physically meet allows more time for studying and other activities) and that there are reliable mechanisms available to ensure the cybersafety of users (e.g., by programs that monitor and act on any reports of cyberbullying or stalking).
I’m not concerned about the lack of appeal of social networking sites for teenagers, more worried about having less time to explore and be active outside, what do you think?
Use Social Networking Sites
Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2010.0016