Will Social Work Make Me Delete My Blog?

This morning I saw (and participated in) a thread on Reddit about social work and social media and it left me with many questions, please help me out!

(This is a quickly written post I might delete in a while but I wanted to see if I could get some other people’s thoughts)

So the original poster was a social work student and they explained that their professor had told them that social workers have to delete all of their social media. Now, perhaps this poster was exaggerating. I personally do not see anything wrong with having a Facebook account so long as you do not add clients and your profile is private.

I wrote a comment saying that all my social media is locked down, but I would hate to give up my blog. Someone else replied stating that they had to terminate an intern who refused to give up their blog.

My blog is very important to me. I feel like it has been so helpful for me to learn how to share my voice, my opinions and my art. This has been a project that has allowed me to participate in activism and develop my opinions about a lot of things. Because of my future career, and my personal obligations I cannot be that activist who is at the front lines getting arrested for protesting, but what I can do is share my own stories, thoughts and reflections on what is happening around me.

I never include any client details or too much of my family’s details. I like to think I have done a good job keeping private things private, but I have used my real name ‘Hali’.

It is possible that a future employer might find this website and take issue with it. I have written a lot of posts that critique social work, are vaguely political or otherwise just state my opinions. (Iconic Photos of Indigenous MovementsThe Astral PlainsDecolonizing My View of Social Work, among others…). Although there is nothing I am embarrassed about in relation to this blog.

The commenter who wrote about having to terminate their intern suggested I remove my name, go by a fake name, make my blog private and/or stop including my personal opinions into it.

I can understand going by a fake name. That would protect whatever organization I work for, as well as myself from unwanted attention. Perhaps someday I will shut down this blog and start a new one that is not attached to my name.

However, I personally cannot understand how you can have a blog without putting your personal opinion into it. How can you write about books, movies, current events or even food without embedding your own perspectives and experiences into it?

I also cannot understand how an employer would require me to keep my opinions private. I understand that I should not be preaching all of my opinions and ideas all the time while I am at work.  But on my own blog, I want to be able to share my own thoughts. Especially when I want to critique social work itself because how will I help it to better serve Indigenous people if I cannot freely critique it.

Ultimately, I am someone concerned with addressing social issues first and a social worker second. Of course, I  will do what I have to do to get and maintain a job. However, I came into social work to change it so that it helps Indigenous families better, and in order to do that, I think I need the space to be a vocal critic.

But really the reason why I am sharing this post today is that I want to get your opinions on this. Are you a social worker with a blog? How do you balance your blog posts with privacy issues? Does your employer know about your blog? Would they care? If you are an employer or someone in charge of hiring, do you care if someone has a blog? Also, I am curious to know the answers even if you don’t work in the social work field.

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5 thoughts on “Will Social Work Make Me Delete My Blog?

  1. I work in education and last year moved from an elementary school to a middle school. I have no idea how I’ve been able to keep my YouTube channel a secret from middle schoolers, but they have only just discovered my content. I recently made a video addressing them specifically, and I also let my boss know about it. They didn’t know I had a YouTube channel either and I had to explain what my channel was about. I told them it has always been focused on educational topics and that I did not want to ban students from watching, I am only looking out for the online communication with students and ask that they do not follow me on social media, I will not follow them. I also will be watching for comments on my videos and will delete any personal comments for their safety.

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  2. My blog has a fake name. I am my own boss but still like my privacy. I wouldn’t want random people coming up to me at the grocery store asking me about my blog! As per my clients, they all have nicknames and I don’t tell really personal “telling” information on any of them or have pictures of them unless the face is blotted out.

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  3. So, being a social worker is what has kept me from making a YouTube channel. I felt like starting a blog would be safer and a little more confidential because, let’s be honest, the demographic I work with aren’t interested in reading anything even for fun lol. They will get on YouTube for hours, but I don’t see them coming across WordPress when they’re on the internet. I can understand not having your real name (I’ve actually thought about changing that on mine), but I don’t think it’s a big deal to have a blog. When you’re in school you’re advised to do a lot of things and then when you get out into the field and practice often things are very different.

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  4. I have just started reflecting on my own work through blog due to limited opportunity to have formal supervision at work. I have no name on my blog, I am (at this stage) very vague about my actual job, employer, etc. And I get to go about things broadly (mentioning a nameless anecdote to then discuss the topic broadly.) This may change but I do not want to tell my boss about it for fear of being told to stop. Just the last few posts I’ve done have really helped me remember why I do social work.

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