A range of social media platforms are available to young dentists that allow them to share, view, and create online content. This includes platforms such as Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. It’s fair to say that practically every individual on the planet is on social media platforms at the moment. Not only does it influence our personal lives, but it can also influence us professionally, too, with dentists being no exception.
Social media has a range of purposes for dentists, including networking, educating, marketing, and recruiting. But as with any platform, there can be positives and negatives to it that need to be explored.
Dentistry is recorded to be one of the industries considered the most stressful to work in. Access to social media accounts enables dentists to have a support network around them and share their experiences with fellow dentists who may have experienced something similar. This can prevent the feeling of isolation and allow them to engage with others.
Another benefit of social media is the ability to network with thought leaders and experienced dentists in the profession. Having easy access to other dentists allows them to express their specialist opinions and pass on their knowledge to others. Dentists can specialize in specific treatments such as All on 4 dental implants and composite bonding. This can only grow the industry as a whole if they can share their knowledge further.
Social platforms such as Linkedin provide employees in various industries to understand what opportunities they have available to them and provide easy access to the advertisements available.
Postural problems are among the most common problems for dentists in their day to day work, crouching down to look at patients’ mouths. Unfortunately, the same can also be said for our mobile devices and how long we spend on them, staring at the screen. This is something dentists should look to avoid regularly as we can be prone to be addicted to our phones.
Simultaneously, consuming too much social media can also be very time consuming for dentists, hindering our ‘real-life’ relationships. However, social media networks’ common problem is the fear of fake users, which means the relationships we may be made online aren’t genuine ones.
Trying to educate yourself through social media can be a dangerous path to follow. Much of the content that we see through social media can be manipulated and not necessarily evidence-based. Young dentists must share the knowledge that is only academically truthful and within the guidelines taught in dental school.
Social media has been a valuable tool for practically every industry, including dentistry. However, it’s still important to be conscious of the content that we see on social media. There can be many risks and consequences for colleagues, patients, and general mental health.