Nursing: The Human Facebook

oil on wood 2008 artist: J.Paradisi
Break Out/Out Break oil on wood 2008 artist: J.Paradisi


     This morning I deactivated my Facebook account. 

     I opened the account almost a year ago, as an artist networking tool. 

   Right away, I started making “friends.” My first “friend” invitations came written in Italian,  from people with my same last name. I understood the simple messages, but  wondered about the pictures of people I didn’t know and messages written in a language I have limited fluency in.

   Next, friends began finding me, and I was pleased.  Slowly, I realized I was supposed to respond through Facebook, with catchy, one sentence updates about my life, sent to entire groups of friends. I felt like an aqusition to a collection. Running dialogs from friends of friends of friends I don’t know and who don’t know each other filled my homepage. I felt like I’d started watching a movie in the middle of it. I wasn’t reading their entries, and I doubt anyone was reading mine. Maybe I’m doing it wrong.

   As a nurse, I meet new people daily. Some, I never see again. During their appointments, I learn a little about their lives, what they do or did for a living, and tidbits of information helping me to see them as individuals.  Patients also ask  questions about me.  Connections are made and reinforced through months and years of treatment. These “threads” of conversation between nurse and patient create a “Facebook” of flesh and blood. I find these human connections to be one of the most satisfying benefits of nursing.

   A phishing scam, using Facebook, came through my email last week, like an uwanted exposure to swine flu, and pushed me over the edge. I decided to close my Facebook account, at least for now. Hitting the “deactivate my account” tab,  I was prompted to give a reason. I chose, “I do not find Facebook useful.”  A help box popped up with several  suggestions  to enhance my Facebook experience.  Obviously, multitudes find Facebook to be a dynamic social experience.  

     I’m not that girl. I hit “delete.”

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