Hem > Uncategorized > My digital self is just me

My digital self is just me

This week’s assignment is to write a blog post about our digital selves, from a private and a professional perspective. I’ve been involved in social media for several years. Through the four twitter accounts that I manage, I have been able to engage in the international emergency medicine community and in the more limited Swedish Twitter community. On a more personal level I interact with my friends on Facebook, both real-life friends and people I have made friends with through Twitter. And I write this blog, which started out as a way to promote emergency medicine in Sweden, but quickly developed into more personal reflections on my own development as an emergency physician.

I use social media on a daily basis, but I don’t understand the concept of having a digital identity. All my reflections online are the same as I would have in a real-life discussion. I don’t make any distinction between Tweeps and other friends or acquaintances. Some are closer than others and it is always great to meet up with people you have never met in person, but who you already consider your friends.

Having a strong social media presence has never been a goal for me. I don’t strive to increase my number of followers, but rather think that having a lot of followers would put pressure on me to write interesting things. Neither do I have any career goals for my digital presence. The Twitter accounts that I manage for our society are not meant to be reflections of my personal beliefs, but I like to keep my private accounts very personal and have omitted all references to my being a representative of others.

I wrote the above several weeks ago, but didn’t feel it was worth publishing on my blog. It seemed to plain and lacking of reflection. Then I learned that one of the high profiles of our social media community had been accused of sexually assaulting a patient. Since he is American, his name and photo, along with the name of his wife, were published in numerous online papers, something that would be unthinkable in Sweden. I don’t know if he was ever on Twitter, but he isn’t now and his amazing blog and podcast have been shut down, probably by himself. If he was on Facebook, he is not any longer. His name has been taken off the list of keynote speakers at an important conference. Most hits on Google are about the recent allegations and you have to search thoroughly to find his valuable contributions to emergency medicine. Even if I understand that erasing your digital self is a way to protect your privacy, it also takes away the opportunity for your social media friends to offer their support, like I would like to do to this person who has taught me so much.

Just like it is easy to reach world wide fame through a strong digital presence, that same platform can be used to bring you down in the most brutal way. Maybe that is one of the reasons I have been content with my rather anonymous presence. A badly worded tweet can easily cause irreparable damage if spread outside the small community used to my sense of humor. I don’t like to put myself in that position in real life, and my digital self is no different. We are one.

  1. mars 25, 2016 kl. 4:27 f m

    interesting reading, and as you describe it´s all up to one self, to decide what social media you chose and what you want to write about and tell others, but I wonder, since this with social media isn´t something new for you, what are your experiences from this course and what was the reasons for taking this course?

  2. mars 25, 2016 kl. 9:02 f m

    Hi Katrin. Many thanks for sharing your reflections and also experience with social media. I was really interested in your international emergency medicine community.

    I had friend who was trolled for a single comment which was misinterpreted, and the hate messages he received was scary… I can imagine your colleague’s situation.

    The digital me has a much wider range than the physical me and we need to be aware of this reach and the type of impact it may have. The right to be forgotten in Europe is a clear case of the addressing this need (I am not taking sides in here) http://www.theverge.com/2016/2/11/10965908/google-search-europe-right-to-be-forgotten

    We are indeed just one 🙂 even sometimes the digital fake one’s with the emotional and social costs associated. I had already shared this article in another comment to a colleague’s blog post http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/17/i-narcissist-vanity-social-media-and-the-human-condition . And it is our personal choice the way we engage online and how much of us we really share. From a personal choice, I barely share anything about my private life. I am very aware of keeping my children away from any photos, comments I share, for privacy and security reasons…

  3. mars 26, 2016 kl. 10:04 e m

    Thank you for your much appreciated comments and links! I guess I am taking the course to learn more about online learning and so far I think I have gained a deeper understanding of theoretical concepts. The #FOAMed (Free Open Access to Medical Education) community is the kind of learner managed, open-ended education that all life long learners strive for, based mainly on internal motivation. It suits people who have a genuin interest in constructing not only their own learning but also for the rest of the community, through blogs and podcasts.

    This kind of learning has huge benefits. Some people will argue that learners might not choose the right things to learn, but I believe that, just like with any kind of education, what the learner will take away depends more on him- or herself, than the intended message of the educator.

  4. mars 31, 2016 kl. 11:15 e m

    Your blog post was so insightful – thank you so much for publishing it! I agree that your digital identity and personal identity can be one; however for me, I try to keep my digital identity as much about my professional life and as little about my personal life as possible. What happened to your colleague is truly frightening, but I agree with you that perhaps removing yourself from the sphere, while understandable and apparently logical, also then allows the accusations to appear even larger comparatively. Many have suggested that the best way to overcome being trolled or bad publicity is to overwhelm it with good content; so that the negative is not what comes up first every time. A really good read on this topic is So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed: http://www.jonronson.com/shame.html

    It was great to meet you in person online the other night. I am totally in awe of the amazing work emergency medical workers do; thank you so much for what you contribute to society! :-).

  5. JP
    april 6, 2016 kl. 3:46 f m

    Digitalization is the need of the hour. Medical science has much more to gain from electronic media. We, a few doctors have started a doctor’s community with that aim at http://thedoc.org. Feel free to join us and share your thoughts.

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