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Accelerated BSN

The Risks and Benefits of Social Media During Nursing School

Indianapolis nursing studentThanks to social media, it’s almost impossible to feel out of touch with anything these days. Between Twitter, Facebook, blogs and more, we are collectively more well-informed and often expect instantaneous feedback. Social media has proven to be a powerful tool from marketing to networking to keeping families connected. And as with any powerful tool, there are both risks and benefits to using social media. How can it affect you while in the Marian University Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program?

While it may be hard to believe, social media can negatively impact your studies. It is all too easy to get sucked into drama and negativity online. The phrase “misery loves company” rings true in social media. It’s particularly easy to complain and stir the pot when you can hide behind a screen.

Every semester, I send out a message to students to remind them that while Facebook is a great place to connect and share study tips, it is also a place that promotes negativity and perpetuates rumors. Misinformation spreads like wildfire through social media. I liken it to a giant game of “telephone” where one person hears something, then relays the message to someone else and so on. In the end, the original message is completely distorted. I encourage students channel the negativity into positivity and remove some of the anxiety that is caused by peer influence.

That said, social media is a tremendous asset to our students, particularly because they are online and near a computer more often than not. Our students have created private Facebook pages and share useful study tips and guides with each other. They also network among the cohorts to sell books and share information about how to be successful in certain courses. It is a great way to  stay connected with classmates who you wouldn’t otherwise see in person very often. In fact, one of our students just posted a t-shirt that she and her classmates created specifically for students in our program. There is a great camaraderie between the students that would not exist without social media.

It is important to remember that when you become a nurse, you will be faced with both negativity in certain situations and great reward in others. It’s up to you and you alone to decide how you will respond to those instances. Now is a great time to practice rising above and focusing on what’s important: your studies.

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