‘For me, the biggest benefit is being ahead of the game’: the use of social media in health work

Deborah Lupton, Mike Michael

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)
    42 Downloads (Pure)


    Using social media in the workplace raises a number of issues for any occupation. In this article, we report the findings of a study
    that investigated how social media are used in a field of health work. The study uses semi-structured interviews conducted by
    telephone with 15 participants working in communicable disease in Australia. We identified several key features shaping the
    use of social media. These included the sociomaterial aspects of the workplace (to what extent employees were provided with
    access to and allowed to use the Internet), the affordances of social media technologies (fast and real-time communication
    and sharing, opportunities to easily connect with peers as well as the public, and the casual tone of interactions), tacit norms
    and assumptions about professional behavior and social media (whether social media are considered to be appropriate
    tools to use for work and how they should best be used), the specific nature of people’s work (how sensitive, stigmatized,
    contentious, or political were the diseases they focused on), and the nature of people’s own experiences (how other social
    media users responded to them, what value they perceived they gained from using social media for work, and the types of
    networks they were able to establish). The findings of this study highlight the importance of context when considering how
    people use social media in the workplace.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-10
    Number of pages10
    JournalSocial Media + Society
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017


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