Should Therapist Facebook Business Pages Allow CheckIns?

So, you are a therapist who is comfortable with technology, or one that someone convinced to get a Facebook business page. What about Facebook Places? 

You might be asking yourself questions like? 

What is Facebook Places? 

Can I turn off people's ability to check-in with me? 

Should I turn off people's ability to check-in with me? 

What does it really mean if someone checks in with me? 

These are fantastic questions to be asking! Let's dive in for a moment. 

What is Facebook Places? 

Facebook places allows people to "check-in" to places. They can choose to tell their friends, their friend's friends, or the whole world where they are going. It can be a fun way to share with friends and family that you have gone to the Opera- or even to find out extended freinds are at the same event with you. 

This can promote non-profit events, create buzz about businesses, create opportunities for bad people, or just be a way to feed narcissim.  

Can I turn off people's ability to check-in with me?

If you have a Facebook Business Page, you don't have as many privacy settings as individuals. You can take your address off of your page- which makes it harder for people to check in via Facebook. However, people can add you as a place! In fact, they can add whatever description they want. A disgruntled employee has been checking in to a local hardware store where she works as "The Threshhold of Hell."  

Should I turn off people's ability to check-in with me? 

This is a bigger question. Should we do our best to take away our client's ability to check in? Is that paternalistic? Is it protective? What age group am I working with? If I leave the ability to check-in- am I "encouraging" check-ins? Do check-ins help or hurt my business? When did I lose control of what people post about me and my business on the Internet?

While I can't answer all of these questions for you- I can answer the last one. you lost control of what people say about you on the Internet and person to person about the time communication and the Internet were developed! 

What does it really mean if someone checks in with me? 

Great question! Maybe it means we are taking the stigma away from mental health treatment. Maybe people are reaching out in a way that they won't ever get their needs met. Maybe it is people using check-ins to "help you" because of some underlying issue with them or with you. 

I wish I had more answers to these questions. I'll be honest- I don't. Having had a Facebook Business Page for quite some time- I haven't run into people checking in to therapy quite yet... And, I currently have my address in Facebook- not because I want people checking in- but because I want people to be able to find me. 

What do you think? Post your comments, questions, etc. below. I would love to hear what you think!