The Relationship Between Technical Communication and Social Media
Posted by Chelsea Dowling
Chelsea’s Test Blog 2
The relationship between technical communication, social media, and even the use of Technology is becoming more and more apparent in our everyday lives. As I was reading through the article The Rhetoric of Reach: Preparing Students for Technical Communication in the Age of Social Media, it dawned on me how why this very topic is so important.
Software companies (like Microsoft) are incorporating in their new software releases, the capability to participate in social media much easier and without having to know how to write HTML5 code and still publish to the Web. Let’s look at Microsoft Office. As I draft this blog article, I now have the option to publish this article as a blog post right to my blog site.
Moreover, as Hurley and Hea demonstrated the impact of social media and technology is becoming even more prevalent within the medical field, where they provided an example of a 48-year-old individual who was punished for providing enough information about a patient that their identity was eventually revealed. Might this explain the increasing Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations? Just the other day, a friend’s mother who works as a dental hygienist was explaining the increased HIPAA training they are required to take each year. In fact, EHR 2.0 published a presentation on Social Media Compliance for Healthcare Professionals.
But overall, one of the most striking points that Hurley and Hea eluded to in their article, was the importance of educating students and communication professionals around the critical theory aspects of social media. While it is important to deploy social media in our own efforts / initiatives and to debunk the negative assumptions around the use of social media (Hurley & Hea, pg. 58), we also need to understand how / where these assumptions fit within our own situations.
Overall, I think this is one of the most important factors that we need to keep in mind. For example, in my current social setting, I would say there is a large difference in how people of all ages use social media. For example, being in such a rural area of Wisconsin, many Gen Xers and Baby Boomers are limited to the amount of exposure they have to social media as well as limited to the desire to access that type of channel. Therefore, as we begin to understand how we reach out to our stakeholders, we can use critical theory to allow us to “consider how social media fits into our professional lives” and be able to evaluate and use social media responsibly (Hurley & Hea, pg. 58).
Hurley, E.V. and Hea, A.C.K. (2014). The Rhetoric of Reach: Preparing Students for Technical Communication in the Age of Social Media. Technical Communication Quarterly, 23(1), pp. 55-68.
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