I’ve been really interested by the #TANTTT idea on @WeNurses, it got me reflecting on how social media has shaped both the charity we founded (@izzysbusy) and also this blog.
So, what does SoMe mean to me?
Well, lets go back to my school days – no social media in the late 80’s and early 90’s, just green screen early desktop PC’s and a teacher telling us how to place our fingers on the keys. Through uni in the mid 90’s still no internet and having to photocopy pages from journals in the library for essay research.
Fast forward, 2014, sat here in my lounge in Chorley tapping away and able to press ‘publish’ and send this to a world wide web. Weird.
SoMe has changed my life, and I don’t want to sound clichéd when I say it. Without SoMe there would be no blog, no Izzysbusy, and I’d be sat here trying to ignore ‘Splash’ with one less distraction to help me.
I write for Isaac. Without a purpose the blogs are just a soliloquy of experience, and whilst that’s fine in itself, I can think that stuff in my own time whilst sat in the car on my way to work or, to quote the Small Faces ‘in the khazi whilst you suss out the moon’. Isaac gives it purpose. I need the world to change for Isaac. Isaac can’t control how people will either perceive him on first impression, nor can he alter how the 100’s of health care professionals he has already met, or the 100s or indeed 1000s he will meet in future will do their job better for him and other children like him. He needs someone to advocate for him, and I’m as good as anyone, I hope.
So, taking Isaac’s story to the world, or our experiences with Isaac, is something totally new to me. I’m about 10 blogs in to a future of blogging, and it’s all a bit odd.
When I saw the 6C’s initiative about 6 weeks ago it really tapped into a lot of the messages I thought I wanted HCP’s to ‘get’ in relation to our experiences with Isaac and other families like ours. It motivated me to put to paper (or straight screen to be honest, there’s no drafts here it’s ‘blam’ and done – much to the chagrin of my uni lecturers i’ve never been a ‘drafter’!). Care was something big for me, I’ve worked in social care for 15 years and I’ve seen the abject dissonance between caring for and caring about and that was my starting point.
3 weeks later all 6 C’s had been subject to my ramblings, and it felt great on the basis of getting a lot of jumbled thoughts out there. What I didn’t know is the echo it was creating.
So, here I am, a few weeks on, shortlisted for a UK Blog Award and with some really exciting work being done by NHS England for Expo 2014 which i’ll be involved in. Now I’m a bugger for hating praise, honestly I am, if there’s three things I hate in others it’s false praise, being patronised and fake sincerity. So when people say they love the blog, that it’s made a difference, that it resonates, that they want student nurses to read it and so on I honestly don’t feel personal achievement. I feel like the things I’m conveying are being taken up and THAT is a big warm feeling, because I know it’ll make a difference for children and families like mine, or at least I hope so.
SoMe has also taught me. I’ve learnt a huge amount through WeNurses, NHS Change Day, taking part in webinars, following conversations, seeing perspectives and following links. Its immersive when I want it to be, and can fill an hour, or I can spend 5 minutes reading 140 character snap shots of news and views. For my style of learning, it’s great. I can sift what I want to know more about and it’s always dynamic. I’m a dad of a patient after all, so how would I know about 6C’s, #TANTTT, #nhschangeday and so many other things without twitter? If the NHS managed to get it into the local paper here in between the story’s about ‘Cat stuck up tree is rescued’ then it’d be a column inch and I’d not be interested. But twitter brings it to me, likee or no likee (sorry , you can tell Splash has finished and Take Me Out has started).
Twitter also has brought me into a network. There’s brilliant people I’ve met through twitter, people who would have no more idea about Isaac’s story than I would have of what they had for their lunch were it not for it. There’s no way other than twitter where my blog would reach the Chief Nursing Officer, Patient Experience leads, 6C’s innovators and people who can make my little missives into being useful. To hear from these people about what good the blogs can do and stuff is validating and empowering, and motivating. To reach these people aside from where it’s direct, instant, no PA’s involved, no outlook scheduler for a meeting space, no cold emails, is amazing.
So yes, I’m a SoMe advocate. No other reason than because it works. The day it becomes useless i’ll go back to just thinking this stuff whilst sat on the khazi 😉