Social Media Dentistry: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly
We are in an era where social media presence is inadvertently a daily norm. And whats more, is that as a younger generation of dentists, we see more and more exposure of dentistry on social media platforms such as Instagram, facebook, Twitter and more.
But is it a good thing?
Well, if you ask me there are 3 sides to Dentistry on social media…
The good, The bad and The Ugly.
Personally, I have found that in general the cases that are posted and the discussions that are held by my peers, colleagues, professionals and mentors have been in the light of improving our careers and professional life as a whole. There seem to be an abundance of relatable cases and experiences followed by an even more abundant volume of comments, advice and guidance. There are numerous videos of techniques being broadcasted free of charge with content giveaways that are helpful in everyday dentistry. These are spread out over instagram, facebook, tweeter and Pinterest. So if you are looking at this in a positive way, (which I’d like to think I am), this is a great movement both for us as dentists and patients. After all if the patient is more sure about the results that they want, it is easier if we can say they can achieve it and how.
They say that the bad can overwhelm the good. This seems to be the debatable topic when it comes to dentistry on social media. I have found that facebook forums for Dentists seem to be full of interesting cases but somehow, the peers on such groups can have an over whelming critique-esk approach. This is less so on social media such as instagram or Pinterest in comparison. This almost leads the younger generations to be put off to post any cases in the fear (shall we say) of being criticised at the cost of their self confidence in their level of skill.
Is this fixable? Perhaps… We just need to realise that even the greatest clinician started as a new kid on the block and made mistakes and learnt from them to be where they are now.
Then theres always one. I suppose the ugliest thing on social media is that it is beautiful. Let me elaborate. The cases and the dentistry you see on social media, specially Instagram, appears to be the perfect cases in dentistry. Whether real or fake (Ill come to this in a moment). So it seems that all the cases on social media appear to be the cases that have gone right and look perfect.
BUT where are the ugly cases? The cases where things don’t look perfect? The cases where there were failures? Surely, We learn from these more?
Unfortunately, the world of social media promotes the perfect life, the perfect world where luxury is common and flaws are too far and in between. Thanks to photoshop. We can tell that faces and bodies have been photoshopped and airbrushed to look more appealing but dentistry too? If you think that people do not photoshop cases then you my friend need to wake up and smell the coffee.
Should I just quit social media?
Well the short version of this answer is no. Should you want to grow as a clinician and become a better dentist by staying up to date then it is always good to have multiple sources of wisdom and knowledge around you and social media is a huge one at that. My advice is to be a positive contributor and avoid negative comments or even replying to negative comments. Practice makes perfect and skills comes with time. So be patient but be eager to progress.
The real question here should be…where is it going to lead to?