Social media has a lot of clout on people’s lives. Most of us spend the majority of our free time on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn. Obviously, being constantly connected and exposed to other people’s opinions and ideas have a profound effect on how we view the world. In regards to certain topics, even before we have read the article, viewed the video, or even talked to the person, we’ve already formed an opinion about the topic due to social media. This can be a good thing or a bad thing.
But in the case of healthcare and our understanding of chronic illness, social media has a lot to say about the topic. Here are a few examples.
Highlighting chronic illness
People with chronic illnesses used to suffer alone and with only their family members to witness it. But due to social media and its reach, more and more have come forward about their illness to spread awareness and information about the disease. Many patients have turned to Facebook to share their struggles, the ups, and downs of having the disease and breaking stereotypes about people with chronic illness. Because of social media, even a casual user will get a little bit of information about a particular disease while they scroll through their feed.
Unknown diseases become known
Most people who have a chronic illness usually have a form that is rare and something others have never heard or encountered before. Patients who have these rare conditions have turned to social media to let the general public know about it and spread awareness. Take for example the extremely popular ice bucket challenge a few years back that stemmed from a few individuals wanting to spread awareness of the debilitation condition known as ALS or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The challenged spread far and wide and raise millions of dollars for ALS research.
Chronic illness sometimes means costly treatment. The majority of those with some forms of chronic disease barely or don’t have the means to cover their treatments. But because of social media and crowdfunding, many patients received treatment because of it. It’s common to see on Facebook or Twitter feeds crowdfunding campaigns for this and that disease. Due to the reach of social media, even a few dollars donated by a couple of hundreds or thousands of people is enough to cover the expense of treatment.
People have a preconceived notion of what it means to have a chronic illness. They think most patients are just bed-ridden and fully dependent on other people for their care. But not everyone has obvious symptoms of the disease. Others go about their day like everyone else but with bouts of disease flare-ups every now and then. Due to social media, many stereotypes about chronic illness patients have been debunked. YouTube videos, even those channels looking on how to get more views on youtube, have released helpful content explaining certain disease process and how it affects people differently.
Leanne Brooks is a passionate young blogger who loves to write about seo techniques, digital marketing, social media and more. She is currently working with GalaxyMarketing, one of the leading providers of Social Media Marketing services in Germany. Her recently published article was about how to get more views on youtube