Social Media

Thoughts | Instagram Social Experiment

I have two classmates who have amassed some thousand followers and have built on their ability to "influence" simply by creating a page dedicated to their lives inside the healthcare field. And so, I thought, "Let's see what all of this hullabaloo is about." Thus, @nursenicoleg, a visual of my life in scrubs and a "white coat," was born. The premise of this account? All of my healthcare snippets throughout the years with true/genuine/authentic stories of mine to accompany.

The result of this new Instagram account was interesting. I did not bother to follow or connect with contacts and people I already knew in person, yet there were a few who found me and decided on their own to follow along in my journey. The idea of not knowing people in real life allowed me to express myself much more genuinely than I probably would with others who knew me in real life. The reason being that I don't think certain people are interested in seeing what I'm learning or the more serious stuff I do when I'm not eating or on vacation. With some time invested to genuinely connect with other  new and not-as-popular healthcare instagrammers, I was able to reach my first 100 followers. From there, the numbers grew on its own despite a hiatus I took while on rotations.

So, you're probably thinking, "Well, why didn't you connect with more popular healthcare people? That could've gotten you to the thousands!" The thing is:  it's easier said than done. Many of them have thousands of followers and hundreds of comments that you become just one in a dozen. Unfortunate, but true.

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My experiences and two-cents --

It has been fun showcasing my life as a nurse practitioner student and as a working registered nurse, and sharing pieces of my healthcare journey. It has been great connecting with and being able to help other Instagram users who are truly trying to find their way into nursing. I enjoy helping others and believe that it is best done by not sugar-coating things. Everything has a pro and con, but who would ever know if it's just the pros that are shown with a whole lot of sugar on top?

While providing insight into the healthcare setting may be helpful to some who are undecided in their path in life, it can be misleading. Unfortunately, the Instagram platform is known for its visual appeal, so why would anyone who is undecided about the healthcare field want to look at the bad and the ugly side of working in healthcare? Or, why would they listen to someone who doesn't have the follower count/influence?

The reality is:  healthcare is a rewarding profession, but it isn't hunky dory all the time. Pictures capture mere moments and does not really tell all of the story behind it. So, despite the pretty visuals of the pretty faces in the outfits that you may want to sport someday, think a little critically. The quick and perfect snapshot does not tell the tale of the nurse who comes in with her hair tied back neatly and leaves work with her hair disheveled as she/he and the team worked to bring a patient back to life. Oh, and watch out for those ads. I mean, does the person really use the products he/she is using? And why does it seem like all of the popular people of a niche are using/advertising the same products at the same time?

There are people on social media platforms who are truly there to help (and not just exercise their "influence"). You'll just need to use your judgment and think critically.

Nicole G.


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