As a relative newcomer to social media, I jumped into tweeting and blogging without giving much thought to specific values guiding my work. I just knew I wanted to talk about how to help others improve their mental health and wellness, drawing from my many years of experience as a clinical psychologist.
Several months later, after dozens of blog posts and thousands of tweets, I recently stopped to consider what the overall values are which drive my social media communications. Here’s what I came up with.
My Social Media Values
I strive to share information which can help others better understand mental health issues and hopefully take away something to manage their mental health concerns a little more easily.
If the information I share isn’t clear and easy to understand, it won’t be very helpful. I’ve read far too many articles on mental health issues that are almost incomprehensible because of unclear or technical language. I want the information I share to be crystal clear and easy to use.
There’s so much information out there about ways to deal with mental health issues that have absolutely no scientific evidence to back them up. I won’t write or talk about something unless I know there’s solid evidence that it works.
Talking about mental health issues isn’t easy. There is so much stigma and fear about disclosing our personal struggles that it’s difficult to open up about them to others. I want to offer support and encouragement and say that it’s ok to talk about these issues.
This one is so important. Coping with a mental illness can be incredibly difficult, but effective treatments are available and people really can get better. Not all the problems will go away, but quality of life can definitely improve and hope can be found again!
I really don’t want to be boring. You will zone out immediately if stuff you read is deadly dull. On the other hand, if information is engaging and interesting, you’re more likely to pay attention to it and get something meaningful from it.
I’m sensitive to the fact that a lot of people who read my material are going through a very tough time with mental health concerns. I want to be careful to be respectful and to appreciate diverse points of view with openness and inclusion.
Having gone through this exercise has been really helpful for me. I now feel I have a solid set of values to guide my future writings and social media communications. And I guess it’s no surprise, but these same values would work quite well for my day-to-day interactions with friends, family, and co-workers. Perhaps you would also benefit from undertaking a similar process to firm up your core social media values.
Here’s a question: What are your core values for how you want to communicate with others? Leave a comment. Also please consider subscribing to my blog and feel free to follow me on Twitter, “like” my Facebook page, or connect on LinkedIn. Thanks!