Saturday, 10 November 2012

To Post Or Not To Post?
Today's National Health Blog Post Month topic is:  Should people post about their (or their loved ones') health on Facebook? Why or why not?

Given that I run the Sometimes, it is Lupus Facebook Page, it would be very hypocritical of me to say  that we shouldn't talk about health issues on Facebook, or any other social media, for that matter.

The basic fact is that social media has become a part of our lives. For those of us with chronic illnesses, who aren't able to get out in the real world as much as we'd like, our on-line lives are very important. Not being able to talk about something that is such a major issue for us would be an isolating experience.

A major benefit of talking about conditions like lupus on social media is that it helps spread awareness - of the condition, and of the impact it has on so many lives. (In Australia, there are about 17,000 people with lupus, but it does not have the awareness level of many other similarly serious illnesses.)

Of course, there's a downside.  As with face-to-face conversations, there's always a risk of someone saying something offensive and insensitive. On-line it's called trolling. In the real world it's called bullying, or just being a jerk. There's always some ill-informed idiot, or deliberate trouble-maker somewhere in the world. Being open about any problem means risking having to deal with the idiots.  Fortunately, on-line, blocking the idiots is easy. (In the real world it can be much harder.)

There are a number of pages on social media established especially to support people with particular health conditions. I've put a number of the lupus support pages on the Lupus Links page of this blog. If you know of any others, please give me the link.

This post written as part of Wego Health's National Health Blog Post Month.

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