Social Work and Social Media

Everything on the internet is permanent, even if you delete content I am sure a determined person can find a place where the information is stored. This brings me to Social Media and Social Work. While I believe in the separation of my personal and professional life, I am not naïve enough to believe that client’s have not googled me. This is a solid reason in my choice to be mostly anonymous.

I have my profiles on other social media sites set that only friends can see most of my posts. To find people, I typically need to initiate the request. I also have my profile photos as generic as possible. Why is this important to me? I do not want my personal life to impact what my clients think of my work. My opinions and education have changed/developed in the past 12 years I have had social media; therefore, I would hate for something my teenage self-felt was true to be held against almost 30 year old professional me. My main concerns are my lack of grammar, spelling, and frustrations with the systems in Philadelphia Public School. While I still feel public school did me no favors, I can see those issues from a different prospective as an adult.

Additionally, I would eventually like to have children and I would like to shield my children from the work I do in the mental health field until they are old enough to understand what mental health is, what counseling is, and what social work is as a profession.

My recommendations for social media: Do have a presence and express yourself. Keep in mind that people can find you on social media and the internet. Decide what your privacy settings should look like for your peace of mind. Have policies, that reference your governing organization and local law, for social media and discuss them with your clients. Love your job but remember you are a person too and need to turn it off sometimes.

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