Social Media and Mental Health

As nursing students and nurses, it is important to understand how social media is altering the world around us. We must show resilience and professionalism when it comes to the matter. Confidentiality, personal productivity, and risk of social media abuse are amongst the top issues. Soon education about social media, abuse could be implemented in our education training in the nursing field.  

Literature Review

           Impacts of social media in nurses vary depending “particular nature of the nurse’s conduct.” Social media therefore must be associated with the posted content, which may impact not only the psychological state of the nurse but also the institution the nurse is working for. However, social media can also be used constructively to promote the health of patients by inquiring about specific prognoses and medical situations over online platforms. After the discovery of social media, it has been an innovative tool in the medical field however, it also has its disadvantages when used wrongly by nurses towards patients well being and the reputation of a health institution. 

           In nursing social media is regarded not as a familiar phenomenon through its application. (Kung & OH, 2014). Kung and OH conducted a study intending to see the various impacts of social media on nursing, their findings were as follows; out of 410 registered nurses, over 94% were members of the social media platforms. Only 1% asserted their disregard for online or social media activities citing that they were held up by work. Piscotty et al (2013), hints that social media has a broad relationship with many careers and nursing is among the many careers which have been adopted but the policies and regulations towards the usage of social media are still based on the universal spectrum. 

           Mariano et al (2013), conducted a descriptive- correlation where they pursued a specific line of thought; social media, and nurse-patient interaction and according to them, “nurses who used social media for a longer duration daily showed an increase in both verbal and non-verbal social skills.” However, the usage of social media can be positive or negative. Social media has also taken most of the quality bedside time that patients must be receiving from their nurses because nurses have been addicted to social media sites (Bilgrin, 2018). Such actions are against nurses’ regulations but we cannot assume that they are not happening, a nurse addicted to social media will give less attention to patients, develop psychological disorders especially insomnia which will significantly reduce the quality of life of a patient. The resilience to following professional rules is key in the identification of a dedicated nurse because of their principality towards working promoting health, either by using social media constructively or doing away with it to give the patient quality time of nursing and care. 

           Therefore, according to Ryan (2016), “it is exceptional for the professional working nurse to maintain their professional integrity whilst using social media.” If any content affects either the patient or the health facility's reputation on social media, the nurse would be working against work ethics which states on patient confidentiality. Besides health, social media affects the normal functioning of how we perceive things which may be detrimental to patient’s life because we will not have the 'nursing care’ to offer to patients. Stephenson (2019), has another perspective of social media towards nursing. According to him, social media can influence resilience by inducing recovery to PTSD, or long-term psychological disorders making nurses adapt to the new situation associated with realities, challenges, and opportunities associated with the nursing profession. 


           This study has used other literature associated with the concept of negative effects of social media to come up with assumptions and try to fill the gap on the specific effects of social media on nursing practice. Most studies associated with this area have covered the effects of technology in nursing but less has been done on the impacts of social media as a facet of technology in nursing practice. 

           The literature also was shaped by studies that embraced quantitative analysis was used to find the relationship between social media addiction and resilience associated with psychological input by social media. The studies also used research groups which were used to give adequate assumptions towards the study. 

           The combination of the literature used in this paper highlighted the resilience, the effects of social media which were important in making assumptions in this paper. The literature, therefore, has been cardinal in advising the paper towards the deliberations associated with the effects of social media on nursing. 


           The nursing profession is one of the important careers that must be taken seriously with regards to the ethics and codes of conduct because of the noble purpose of promotion of health. However bad usage of social media may lead to poor quality of information circulation, especially patients’ information which should be protected, it can also damage the professional image, bring about psychological torture, and also may breach patients’ privacy among other key aspects. 


Bilgrin, O. (2018). Effects of perceived social support and psychological resilience on

Kung, Y., OH, S. 2014. Characteristics of nurses who use social media. CIN: Computers, informatics, nursing, 32 (2), 64-72. Accessed on 02 February 2021. 

Mariano, m., Maniego, J., Manila, H., Mapanoo, R., Maquiran, K., Macindo, J., Tejero, L., Torres, G. 2017. Social media use profile, social Skills, and nurse-patient interaction among registered nurses in tertiary hospitals: A structural equation model analysis. International Journal of Nursing Studies. Accessed on 02 February 2021. https://www- 

Piscotty, R., Voepel-Lewis, T., Lee, H., Annis-Emoett, A., Lee, E., Kalisch, B. 2013. To tweet or not to tweet? Nurses, social media, and patient care. Nursing Management, 44 (5), 52-53. Accessed on 02 February 2021. weet__Nurses,_social_media,.12.aspx 

Ryan, G. 2016. International Perspectives on social media guidance for nurses: a content analysis. Nursing Management. 23,8,28-35. Accessed on 02 February 2021. 

Stephenson, J. (2019, September 11). Social media addiction 'adversely affecting' nurses'       Social  media addiction among university students. Retrieved from



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