I don’t hide the fact that I am the face behind the social media channels for five hospitals and a women’s medicine practice in Rhode Island. On top of that, I have my personal Twitter, Facebook and Google+ where I share personal things, but Twitter is by far my favorite channel.
Twitter is my go-to for everything. It’s how I learned about social media, it’s how I stay up to date on breaking news, and it’s where I can connect with so many people I otherwise wouldn’t meet. Like many people, it’s also the first thing I think of when I want to tout a brand or do a little complaining.
If you’ve read my posts like these in the past, you know I’m all for transparency in social media. So imagine my dilemma when I found myself the family member of a patient at one of my hospitals earlier this year. And when I say “my hospital” I mean one of the hospitals for which I manage the social media.
It was a very scary time for my family, and I’m thrilled and so very thankful to report that in the end everything is just great, but it was touch and go there for a while. So here I was, at the bedside of a loved one in a hospital and wanting to tweet about the care my brother was receiving. If it had been any other hospital, I would have tweeted both the good and bad experiences.
But my dedication to being transparent was giving me a little internal tug of war. If I tweet, the only one from the hospital who could see it and respond would be me. At the same time, I knew I would be sharing a good experience about the hospital through Twitter that the hospital’s followers would see. So then I would be adding to a positive image of the hospital. But it just felt a little, um, icky. It almost felt a bit unethical… like people would think I was being a little biased in what I was sharing through social media and misrepresenting the hospital. I felt like it was just the wrong thing to do.
So in the end, I chose not to tweet, not because I felt that I couldn’t, but it just ethically didn’t feel right to me. But now I pose the question to you… what would YOU do in that case?