Why I Use Social Media in Neurosurgery
In an effort to keep up with some of the latest electronic communication systems, I have embraced social media in many of its various forms over the past few years. I was a rapid endorser of Facebook. At first, I used it for primarily personal reasons and for connectivity with my family and friends. However, as with other forms of social media, I have learned that Facebook is also very useful to promulgate professional data and information to colleagues and eager readers, notably on an international basis.
I was also a relatively rapid adapter of Twitter and, most recently, Instagram. In fact, I currently have three Twitter accounts: One as Editor and Chief of the Journal of Neurosurgery; another as Chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto; and finally, my personal Twitter account. The only issue with having 3 accounts is the requirement to be certain which account I am using to send out which new tweets!
I have been especially pleased with how well social media works to advance the mission of the Journal of Neurosurgery. Thanks to our social media team, we are quickly spreading the word about various current articles and highly cited historical publications from the Journal of Neurosurgery. The social media metrics we use would indicate that these communications are highly regarded and sought after.
I thought I was doing quite well with over 1,000 followers on my Twitter accounts. However, the true power of social media became apparent to me when I noticed that celebrities and past presidents, like Barack Obama, reach over a million people within minutes of a single tweet! It is clear that social media is here to stay and will continue to advance and to evolve in the years ahead. I look forward to enjoying the ride and encourage all neurosurgeons to embrace this important tool!
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