In class we discussed how in todays society most people gather their information from social media platforms for they are the most commonly used. This can be seen as both a good thing and a bad thing. Social media comes off as it is sparking the talk about many topics such as health, politics, and many other controversial topics. However, according to a recent study social media doesn’t always facilitate conversation around the important issues of the day. According to Pew Research Center they found that people were less willing to discuss their opinion on the Snowden-NSA story on social media than they were in person. And Facebook and Twitter users were less likely to want to share their opinions in many face-to-face settings, especially if they felt their social audience disagreed with them. The conversation seems to change depending on the environment that the conversation is taking place in.
As stated before, social media plays a major role in the healthcare field today. We are living in a generation that looks to social media and online websites to answer general healthcare question rather than a trained doctor. It was also discovered that many people who follow social media sites alone and don’t do actual research on the information they were receiving online and become very uniformed on the actual events and facts that are being presented in the news. One reason for this is the fact that it is very easy for any one to post information to specific sites; we see this as a rising problem especially for health issues. Pew Research states that “More than 40% of consumers say that information found via social media affects the way they deal with their health”.(pew) The opinions of others on social media are often trusted but aren’t always accurate sources of insights, especially when it comes to a subject as sensitive as health. This cannot only not help treat specific health issues, but cause more health problems such as anxiety and depression. However, social media is not always a bad thing. Social media is slowly helping improve the way people feel about transparency and authenticity, which will hopefully lead to more productive discussions and innovations regarding an individual’s health. It is important that the focus remains on informing the population of the actual truth and facts rather than presenting distrusting information.