Social Media and Messaging Apps


Social media and Messaging Apps are terms that refer to a variety of internet-based applications that allow people to create and exchange information and communicate with each other digitally. Social Media platforms include, but are not limited to social networking sites such as Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, TikTok, LinkedIn, GDPUK, Instagram and Pinterest. Messaging Apps, such as WhatsApp, iMessage, WeChat focus on communicating with set individuals and groups.


Social media and messaging apps are widely used to communicate with others in both a personal and professional capacity. It can help to connect with people and keep in touch. If used responsibly, social media can offer many benefits, including accessing professional and support networks, learning resources and information.


It is important to remember though, that social media can also create risks and challenges. It can blur the boundaries between public and private life, and your online image can impact on your professional life. Sharing information inappropriately can be very damaging due to the speed at which it can be shared, the size of the potential audience and the problems removing content once it has been posted.

Your digital footprint stays with you and can have a massive impact on your future.


If you are enrolled on a course which leads to professional registration, you should always have your fitness to practise in mind when posting on social media or writing in group chats. Fitness to Practise looks at your health and conduct not only in a university/placement setting, but also in your personal life. It includes things that you post on social media and in group chats.


The most important thing to remember about social media is that it is never private, even if you are posting in a closed group. Anything you post can be saved and shared and we have seen Fitness to Practise investigations started because another member of the group has shared screenshots of 'private' conversations with their School.


The safest approach is, if you would not say it to your Head of School, a patient, or live on television, do not say it on social media.


Think before you post


You may have high privacy settings on your social media, you may only post in closed groups, but, if you are on a professional course, you are still expected to apply the same standards as you would when communicating in other ways. You should never post anything that


  • identifies patients, or people receiving care without their consent;
  • makes inappropriate comments about patients;
  • shares confidential information;
  • may bring the University, or the profession you are studying, into disrepute;
  • may risk public confidence in the University or the profession you are studying;
  • incites hatred or discrimination;
  • can be seen as bulling, intimidating or exploiting people.


You should also be sure that anything you post meets the standards expected by the professional body that regulates your chosen profession:


Get the Tone Right



Be respectful of others



There are consequences online



Consider your personal safety



There is no such thing as privacy on the internet



Social media can present lots of opportunities



Contact Student Advice
+44 (0)2920 781410