It used to be that the only way you could obtain a diagnosis for your health condition was to schedule an appointment with your doctor (sometimes weeks after your symptoms have already ended). Not anymore. Social media is making it much more efficient to look up symptoms, apply them to your possible condition and break down the silo between doctor and patient.
You are your own best advocate and should take your own health into your very own hands regardless of whether or not your doctor has time to see you. This doesn’t mean that you should skip going to the doctor by any means. It just means that in addition to seeing your doctor, you should be doing your own research. You know your body better than anyone else. You know where it usually aches versus where it happens to be excruciatingly painful at the moment you make the appointment. You know where there is a lump and shouldn’t be. You know where there is a mole that possibly wasn’t there before and might need to be checked out. Take the control into your own hands and you could very well save your own life.
Twitter allows you to search using what they call “hash tags” (basically, a number sign before a word you wish to search). A few examples would be: #health #cancer #ailment #sick, etc. The search results will reflect any other status updates that have occurred with one of the aforementioned words in them. Basically, you are connecting to other individuals who are posting about what you are posting. It’s a classic game of “connect the dots” where the dots may end up shedding some light on a condition that may otherwise be pretty hard to pin down.
Facebook has groups set up and designated to different conditions and they are added every single day. You can join (for free) the American Cancer Society or the Leukemia amp; Lymphoma Society and stay updated whenever there is an update within the group maintaining the page and also participating in discussions on the page. These are just two examples, but there are hundreds (possibly thousands) more to choose from!
Both Twitter and Facebook are free to join and anyone can take part in these groups and discussions. The possibilities appear to be endless now that social networking has helped on the concerns about how to get instagram followers, joined the ranks of ways to stay in touch and up to date with health breakthroughs and new information. In fact, you might even check with your doctor’s office to see if they have a Facebook or Twitter page! You’d be surprised – they just might! Speaking of doctors, did you know that Dr. Oz (yes, “the” Dr. Oz from Oprah’s show) has his very own Twitter account that you can follow? Find it here: http://twitter.com/droz.