#WGT16 Reflections: Looking at how far we have come

It’s now been a whole week sine #WGT16 .. the coming together of over 250 people all interested in health and social media and I have found myself reflecting on 3 things – the past, the present and the future.  This blog is, therefore, the first in a series of three; This blog post explores how far we have come, the second blog post will be looking at who we are and the third blog post will be exploring the possibilities.

It seems like many moons ago that the lovely Anne Cooper (@anniecoops) told me the Starfish story, it was when I first started WeNurses and Anne was very expertly explaining to me that making a difference to one person is still making a difference and is worthwhile.  For those of you who don’t yet know the Starfish story here it is:

starfish_story

This story has stuck with me over the 6 years I have been blogging and tweeting and whenever I have met someone who doesn’t yet see the value of connecting in social media as a nurse or I meet a new egg on Twitter or I help someone to set up a blog I have always thought …. “I have made a difference to that one” And although WeNurses now has nearly 50 thousand followers counting “in ones” is still something that I do.  I love celebrating the small wins – when someone tweets that they have done something different because of what they have learnt on a tweetchat, or someone thanks WeNurses for the support, or even when someone introduces someone new to WeNurses & recommends us as a good person to follow … these are all ways in which I know that WeNurses is making a difference, these are all ways in which I know the Starfish that I have thrown have made it !

One of the most amazing things about throwing starfish is that when people see you doing it they too start to join in … take #TeachANurseToTweetTuesday or #TANTTT this is all about throwing starfish together, making a difference to that one person and helping them to see the value of social media.  However the only problem with counting in ones is that it can be hard to see exactly how far you have come.

A few weeks before #WGT16 someone advised me to make sure that I took time out on the day to just sit back and watch for 5 minutes and take time to reflect.  #WGT16 was one of the most hectic days of my life however I did purposefully take 5 minutes and I sat on the balcony and just watched:

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What I saw was starfish.  All of the starfish that we have all been throwing all coming together in one place.  Every person at #WGT16 had been touched by social media in one way or another and it had made a difference to them … so much so that many of them travelled hundreds of miles to come together, to meet others and to see how they could take social media in health forward.

I still believe that making a difference to one person is a wonderful thing, however I also not see the importance of not only counting in ones but also taking the time to sit back and see how far we have come and what we have achieved.  My learning from #WGT16 is simple – keep throwing starfish but take time to reflect & see all the starfish.

starfish

I want to finish by saying a thank you to Anne for telling me the starfish story all those years ago and for my lovely starfish gift :)

My next blog post will be more reflections from #WGT16 and I will be “Looking at who we are”

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