According to Wikipedia, collectivism is "any philosophic, political, religious, economic, or social outlook that emphasizes the interdependence of every human." So, how does technology fit into this idea of collectivism in the world of nursing?
When we examine nursing through the lens of social media, blogging and online networking, we can readily see many examples of how nurses and nursing have been impacted positively by technology and the nature of human beings seeking connection and interdependence.
Now, there are, of course, those who use social media and Internet-based technology solely to advance their own cause or success, but we're seeing more and more examples of how nurses are creating community online and leveraging technology to our collective benefit (this blog carnival being just one recent example of such community-building).
While it's possible to live in a vacuum on social media, posting incessantly about yourself without any authentic interaction with others, I observe that there are a growing number of nurses and nurse entrepreneurs using Twitter, Facebook, Google+, blogging and other platforms in order to promote one another, collaborate, cross-pollinate, and otherwise weave a tapestry of collective intelligence that is certainly greater than the sum of its parts.
Tweetchats, blog carnivals, as well as groups on Linked In, Facebook and Google+ all provide venues wherein nurses utilize information and Internet technology in order to connect, grow networks, support one another, and otherwise weave the aforementioned web of connectivity and collectivism.
From individuals like Andrew Lopez of NurseFriendly to organizations like the National Nurses in Business Association and our own RN.FM Radio, nurses are increasingly using the power of technology to connect, support one another, and expand the boundaries of what it means to be a nurse in the 21st century.
I personally see technology as a means to link ourselves together, strengthen the fabric of the profession, and forge a collectivist modus operandi among nurses and nurse entrepreneurs.
Collectivism and interdependence aren't just buzzwords. These concepts are very much alive in our culture, and there are nurses who clearly see the benefits of weaving ourselves together by invisible threads of technological connection.
Technology can be our friend, our ally, and a central part of the connective tissue of our relationships. Let's use it as it was meant to be used, and in the way that most supports us all, both individually and and collectively.
This blog post was written to be included in the next edition of the new Scrubs Magazine Nursing Blog Carnival, which is hosted by various nurse bloggers and published on a regular basis.
Thanks to Scrubs and Brittney Wilson, The Nerdy Nurse, for including me.