NR 506 Using the Media Discussion
NR 506 Using the Media Discussion
The use of media has grown significantly over the last few years (Rudden, 2016). Not only are people using this source for entertainment, but they are also utilizing it as a resource for medical information. Over seventy percent of people in the United States have a social media profile (Rudden, 2016). Healthcare workers should take notice and understand that they are able to implement the use of this type of media for communicating healthcare information (Rudden, 2016). Word of mouth, be that through social media or print publication, is a very effective and quick way to get information out to a target demographic (Rudden, 2016).
With respect to my public policy of childhood obesity, the use of social media could be a great of pathway of sending out my information to the public. I would want to target children and their parents. It is important when presenting information in this context to make it visually appealing to entice the audience (Rudden, 2016). Using pictures and videos would help interest the children while direct content would be more interesting to the adult population. The information being presented, no matter the age bracket, should be easy to understand and direct. When presenting the information, it is necessary to do more than just state the facts about the issue. Students and families might already understand that obesity is a problem for children as well as adults, but they might not be able to devise solutions to help with the problem. Formulating solutions on their own could be daunting. On the other hand, if they are given specific plans to implement, they could be proactively working on this issue in their personal lives. As medical professionals, and especially in the nursing field, we are charged with being trusted educators that will both inform our patients about the issues and develop ways to solve these problems. Patients are trusting that we are giving accurate and helpful information that they in turn can pass on to someone else. We should direct our patients toward information that is appropriate and correct. The human word can be a very powerful motivator; we should use this concept to our advantage when advocating for a change.
Rudden, D. (2016). How to Effectively Harness the Power of Social Media. Audiology Today, 28(4), 22-32.
In all honesty, it is one of my biggest pet peeves when people use their social media as a platform to voice their political or religious views. I use social media as a way to keep in touch with family and friends and to stay up to date with new pictures of our children, etc. I think my main frustration with voicing political or religious views on social media is that people will often comment on these and say things that they would never say to the person’s face. I like to say that when it comes to social media people get “keyboard courage” and say things that they would never say in real life. This is quite frustrating, as it allows people to fight and disagree in an often times uncivilized way that results in name calling and judging. In fact, with the recent gun protests marches going on across the country I have seen many of my “friends” fight over social media in the last few weeks. It’s sad, but almost comical to see grown adults fighting over texts simply because they have different views. I have even had to “un-follow” my husband step mother on social media because her constant controversial posts were irritating. As I mentioned, my only agenda with social media is to see pictures of friends and family and look at funny memes and pictures. So much of the information that I read, I have to go look it up to see if it is valid information, and a large majority is not. It is frustrating that people post so much information on social media without fact checking their information. The main problem with this is that people then continue to share this information and many people go on believing the information without ever checking into the facts. I am all for sharing articles that are from reputable sources and once I have done my research on an issue.
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With that being said, social media is one way to get information out to many people almost instantaneously. I would personally use an opinion editorial where people were expecting someone to voice their opinion, create a blog where people could view, or be a part of a personal interview rather than using a site such as Facebook or Twitter. I think when people attempt to communicate via text the message can often become misinterpreted, so a personal interview would leave the smallest possibility for people to take what was said and turn it around .
The biggest thing I would want to consider would be my audience. I would want to make sure I was directing my information to people who wanted to read this type of information. Flooding your personal social media pages can be a frustrating topic for many, so having this information in an area where people could choose to read it would probably be best. This gives the readers the option to read your information rather than posting it where it constantly shows up on their news feeds.
The most important thing to me about sharing this type of information is to provide facts and a way for someone to quickly check the facts by citing the source. As I mentioned, I am always willing to learn, but I also am not a person who believes information simply because I have read it. I want to see statistics and facts from a credible source. I have seen a few posts on Facebook within the last few weeks that have actually made me laugh. When one person called another out on where they got their information they copied and pasted their sources. One of their sources was Wikipedia. Maybe it’s because I have been a student for so long, but I guess I just took for granted that everyone knew those were not credible sources.
Taking away my personal pet peeve of using Facebook for someone’s platform, because 80% of adult internet users use Facebook (University of Southern California, 2018), it would be a very quick way to get your opinions published to many people very quickly.
I also think that giving pros/cons on both sides of the argument is helpful. It helps to keep the reader’s attention as they will not feel that it is a completely one-sided article. I frequently play devil’s advocate and try to get people to see things from both perspectives. I have found that if I attempt to play devil’s advocate with certain people, they do not like that and like to begin to make personal attacks.
As mentioned, the main issues with using social media are that the information can be shared amount thousands of people within minutes and your name will be attached to it. Also, the author of the content can then be contacted by anyone who has read their information, and are often times attacked by people they’ve never met simply over their beliefs. People gain “keyboard courage” and say things on social media that they would never say to another person’s face. People often attack others on social media based on their beliefs.
University of Southern California. (2018). Social media and public policy. Retrieved from https://publicadmin.usc.edu/blog/social-media-and-public-policy/
I try to follow the same rules that I would follow for school to “fact-check” my information. If I read something, I usually go to Google and follow up to see if there are any articles related to that subject from a trusted source. Recently I have seen a lot of interesting posts regarding vaccinations. I have read the articles and then went to the CDC’s website and American Academy of Pediatrics and other websites to see if I can find the same information there. Often times the information is not updated on those sites.
With all of the recent gun control attention on social media, I try to look into that as well. I am a question asker. I always want to know “why?” Therefore, I frequently look up to try to find information to support or discredit the information. This past week I have seen a lot of information on YouTube, facebook, and the news about teenagers snorting condoms. This seemed odd to me, so I looked it up, only to find that most of these videos are several years old and it does in fact, seem that this is not a new “craze” as the media is making it out to be. This may be a poor excuse, but I am simply pointing out that with social media, people can post anything they so choose and it can go viral without any factual basis. That fact alone scares me, especially since so many people believe everything that they read on the internet. I feel that it is our responsibility to put out factual information that allows people to form an opinion, but as I mentioned previously, sadly I do not feel that that is something that is being done, and I do not anticipate a change anytime soon.
In this day and age of Twitter being the primary avenue of communication from our current president, it’s impossible to not notice the impact that media has on our society, especially social media. Gone are they days of waiting to read about a news story until the newspaper prints, the day after if happens. We are all about the right here, right now of instant gratification. Social media offers the ability to connect, collaborate and share, in real time (Jackson, Fraser & Ash, 2014).
One way that would be helpful to get my policy issue out there and gain community support if via Facebook. The Town of Windsor actually has a regularly updated Facebook page and people often put links to their ideas and issues on there. I could write a succinct post using a few statistics that I have found that are fairly shocking and I think that would really draw a great deal of support. Facebook allows immediate feedback via the public and private message features; videos can be uploaded, as well as photos, which would all be helpful in driving my issue home.
There are some downsides to media: such as, (a) comment-thread trolls who spew their hatred, and (b) bias of the reporters, writers or corporations that put their spin on reporting the facts. One thing to consider when using social media to relay a message is the potential torrent of negative attitudes toward the issue. The comment threads of a media post are often filled with mean and hateful comments that can be both hard to read and can change the opinions of those who may have been supportive otherwise. Professionalism is another thing to consider when using social media. It is difficult to relay your “tone” at times and something that you write can easily me misinterpreted, so it is essential to carefully state your message in a way that is factual and professional. Also, when engaging in the comment threads, it is important not to become heated with those that leave ugly comments. If a reply is necessary, do it in a way that counters the negative comment by just giving facts and not opinions.
Even with these negative aspects, the Internet is the ideal forum to get a message out there and have it spread quickly.
Jackson, J., Fraser, R. & Ash, P. (2014). Social media and nurses: Insights for promoting health for individual and professional us. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 19(3). http://www.doi.org/10.3912/OJIN.Vol19No03Man02
“Given the power of the media, discuss how you would use an opinion editorial, a personal interview, websites, texting, Facebook, Twitter, and/or blogs to influence public opinion relative to your policy priority. What issues about media and electronic social networking do you need to consider? Why?”
Social media can universally be defined as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content many variations and types of social media exist” (Voorveld et. al., 2018). When used correctly social media can help nurses spread their knowledge about current medical issues that needs to be addressed to the general public. I would use the power of the media to promote my policy priority by posting information about prevalence of HPV. For me I would use Facebook (a social network) because I currently have 5,000 friends/acquaintances on FB, and hopefully if it goes viral more people would be aware about the spread of this STD.
“The effectiveness of such digital engagement programs is usually assessed with social media monitoring tools providing quantitative metrics, such as the number of likes, shares, comments, opens, views, followers, or clicks, as indicators of level of engagement or valence of engagement (positive or negative comments)” (Voorveld et. al., 2018). However, we need to be mindful that we might not be able to steer the audiences towards the direction that we need them to go. For example, I want the media platform Facebook to help me get more people to agree with me that HPV vaccines should be mandatory. However, it could backfire and one negative comment such as religious rights or parents’ right to say no could trigger a downfall of followers going against the mandatory HPV policy proposed. I could foresee how people would think mandatory HPV vaccinations might promote promiscuity in young adults, so before that gets out of hand anything that I post should immediately address the negative side of HPV vaccinations.
Voorveld, H. A. M.,van Noort G., Muntinga D. G., & Bronner F.(2018). Engagement with Social Media and Social Media Advertising: The Differentiating Role of Platform Type. Journal of Advertising. 47 (1), p38-54. 17p. DOI:10.1080/00913367.2017.1405754.