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SLP Skills Saturday: Being Social Media Savvy

19 April 2014

*This post has outside links to the related items discussed below. None are paid endorsements, just opinions and items I find helpful.

We are in the information age. Quite possibly, the fastest way we can obtain knowledge and information if through the internet. This information sharing platform has boomed over the past several decades, which has allowed for a massive amount of collaboration between those in our profession. We just love sharing ideas and thoughts! That's why this SLP Skills Saturday is focusing on the idea that SLPs need to be savvy with social media. After all, there is a wealth of information and networks available through the various social media platforms.

There are several "big" players in social media that you should consider looking into. Each have different eases at which you can read the information you want, or ask for information from others.

Facebook  has always been one of the major platforms. This is for more than catching up with friends... there are many groups on Facebook! Some for SLP students, others for professionals and students, and they are far and wide in what they cover. There are those like that can help students with questions, while others have discussions for professionals (that also let students in). For example, some groups are for dysphagia, apraxia of speech, private practice, medical SLP, school SLP... basically you name it and there's a group for your interest. These can provide you with lots of information as to what is "big" in that subfield. You can also find pages for your favorite blogs on Facebook (like Look Who's Talking!)

Discussion Boards are extremeeeely helpful. You'll find answers to question already have or ones you hadn't thought of. I believe Speech Room News has a discussion board. There's also the SLP reddit page for any questions or thoughts on the field and grad cafe for questions/concerns on getting into grad school.

Twitter is also a VERY big one in this field. So many researchers, companies, organizations, clinicians, bloggers and students are on Twitter. They post articles, blog posts, interesting facts, employment opportunities and just general thoughts on their twitter handles. Besides following and interacting with others through tweets, you can follow many hashtags and chats. Some examples are:
#slpeeps    #slp2b    #slpbloggers   #slpchat   #wespeechies   #researchtuesday

Wespeechies actually holds chats almost every Tuesday, usually at 8 pm AST. They discuss a variety of topics and SLPs and SLP students from around the world join in. You can check the schedule here:

Blogs, like this one, are another social media tool you should be savvy with. You don't need your own blog. Or you don't need an informational one like this; rather, you can have a personal one to just record notes or personal triumphs. Just do a search for SLP blogs and you'll find many-- by (under)grad students and clinicians in a variety of settings. There's even one on Special Education Law. Search for blogs by related disciplines. These all have many activities and ideas related to our field that you can use when you eventually get to grad school and the work force.

An easy way to follow many blogs is through Bloglovin' which LookWhoSLP is a part of. Just search or you favorite blogs and "follow" them. Then you'll see all their new posts in a feed.

You should also consider the proper etiquette that should be followed when using these different social media and how they reflect on your professionally.