Legal nurses, like expert witnesses, attorneys and politicians, are only as credible as their public image. While we have faith in the integrity of our friends and fellow professionals, we are not immune to the intentional harm inflicted by others.
Most of us unwittingly sow the seeds of our own demise. We engage in light-hearted email bantering back and forth with friends and colleagues. We know to screen our Facebook friendships and confine our LinkedIn connections to business, but still…
We do love voicing an opinion when asked, and even when not asked.
Our professional listservs allow many opportunities to hone our critical thinking skills and play beat-the-buzzer at guessing elusive diagnoses, arcane abbreviations and other mind-teasers thrown out by our colleagues.
We might even voice a public opinion on an expert’s skill level. Woops.
What we say today will be here tomorrow, and the next day, and the year after that, forever circulating and percolating in cyberspace, molded into sound bites that hardly represent the original intent.
In fact, this recently happened to me, or rather, I did it to myself. I wrote a short article called “It’s not life… it’s social media” (http://www.caseconsultant.com/Social%20Media.pdf). I still support most of what I wrote about not wanting a Facebook account, but I now have 160 Facebook friends, attend Martindale Hubbell online conferences, and recently presented a webinar on the use of LinkedIn. My disdainful article on social media lingers on.
Recently, a fellow LNC posted several sites that construct an image of you based upon your shopping habits, public profiles, emails, etc. The images were not accurate portrayals, but there are people who use their free time to make mischief for the rest of us.
As the NYPD day sergeant would say, “Let’s be careful out there” as we fall in love with the sound of our voices and the sight of our words.