Social media can be a marketing goldmine or a dead-end business decision. When you are severely ill or badly injured in an accident, as a dentist you are likely to turn to social media and the internet for information and help. In today’s fast paced business climate, social media can bring joy and success. It also can bring disaster and failure. The personal interaction that social media brings can be comforting, but fully understand it limitations and uses.

First of all, don’t believe everything you read on the internet.  Look at the information obtained as a resource only. Check out everything before making false assumptions or critical decisions on your future. Remember, everything you post on social media is public. Carefully review what you expose to the world. As a dentist, you have legal and personal responsibilities that go far beyond the general population.

Use social media as a tool to improve your life/practice. Don’t fall into the trap of using it as a complaint storage bin. Self-pity after an injury or illness can overwhelm even the strongest of us. Seeking a compassionate ear is fine, avoid becoming a never-ending source of grief. Once you realize the real value that is there, you will quickly understand the tremendous power that contacting many others on your situation.

Don’t make the mistake of avoiding social media. It is a valuable resource in one of the key areas of survival after disability. NETWORKING.  Whether you are advertising your practice, looking for a job, or seeking information on recovery and rehabilitation; networking with your peers and even competitors is a fine option. Information is good. Decisions on your practice and life can be enhanced by getting involved and working with others who may have valuable experiences that may influence your plans.

Remember your personality is not the same as everyone else. What you think is funny, sad, or important may actually offend others. Carefully think about what you decide to say and use respect when making inquires or asking questions. Providing too much information to others may provide them with reasons to avoid you and your questions.  Be concise and to the point when constructively using social media. Remember, as a professional you are using it to either get help, advertise, or obtain information.  Don’t offend others in your haste to comment on situations that you really have no control over.

Using social media to criticize anything is a mistake. Use it as a tool to make friends and get help for yourself and others. People do not have the chance to explain or defend themselves when comments are made in social media. Keep quiet and just stick to your mission of getting support and assistance. Better to be thought the fool and keep quiet, than open your mouth and remove all doubt. Social media is like a game of chess. You need to be thinking several moves ahead of time to win. You are not playing checkers and responding with knee-jerk reactions. Don’t shoot from the hip. Carefully plan your moves/posts and gain respect and admiration.

In order to get the best results from social media, you need to use it frequently. Unused sites and infrequent posts/inquires are often ignored or overlooked. It will take time and effort and is not without cost. Remember the squeaky wheel gets the oil. Make your presence known and get constructive feedback. Be prepared for negative results. Not everyone follows the unwritten rules and will be courteous. Networking with others may just be the solution to your dilemma. After a severe illness or injury, many problems will remain and using your electronic network of real support will provide answers and ideas if used correctly. Take a look at this TED talk and the perspective of social media it takes,

Social media is a powerful tool and we hope you take advantage of the real help it can provide you in your time of need. It can be addicting and use it a just one of a number of resources that you will use to fight back after your encounter with disabling illness or injury. This should get you started. Don’t be afraid to open accounts in several arena simultaneously. For those of us who are electronically challenged, it will seem very hard; but in reality it is quite easy and ultimately fun.






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