It is your responsibility to fight for your health since you are your own best advocate. Open Instagram and begin scrolling through your feed. A meme about feeling productive appears, followed by a photo of a college friend on the beach, and then a short video of someone in a white coat giving medical advice appears on your screen. Like any other platform, social media may be a powerful tool for spreading a message or educating a group of people. It has the potential to tear down boundaries by making knowledge more accessible, but as with everything else online, caution is required.
Although it may appear dangerous territory, it may be comforting to know that these concerns about online medical advice and nuanced talks are not novel. In truth, the same problems arose with the introduction of the internet. When it comes to one major component in the medical field: awareness, social media is beneficial and crucial.
TikTok has a lot of first-person content from influencers. Users may discuss their anxiety or depression symptoms, which can be reassuring and eye-opening. A further area where social media can be beneficial is self-care, an essential aspect of well-being. Social media is also an excellent platform for licensed medical practitioners to provide free educational information and address inquiries from the public. That way, they are comfortable with the knowledge they are delivering.
While suggestions and instructional materials are available on platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, there is also an epidemic of misinformation and falsehoods, particularly concerning women’s health. Viewers may be exposed to incorrect medical advice on these digital channels if they are enduring pain that is not improving, have not visited a doctor, and continue to cycle through these videos to find a solution for healing. Even if a video is helpful, it can be problematic if it does not push viewers to consult a doctor or therapist to be appropriately diagnosed. Just because a hypothesis or medical occurrence has been accepted by mainstream medicine does not imply that it is correct or accurate.