Today is day 10 of National Health Blog Month from Wego Health. Today’s topic: Should people post about their (or their loved ones) health on Facebook?
Last fall, my friend and fellow Syracuse alum Chris Pollone had the worst headache traveling back to Birmingham following Alabama’s win over Arkansas. He went ended up in Little Rock where they discovered he had a brain tumor. A few days later, surgery, and just three weeks later he was back on TV; six weeks later back in the press box covering Alabama’s National Championship run.
Along the way, Chris was on Facebook and Twitter (man’s a tweeting fool! But then again most journalists are). He tweeted game comments from his hospital bed, but he also used to it keep everyone updated on his condition.
In a world where our “friends” can follow our every move via social media, Chris let his friends, family and viewers in the loop. He shared his reasons for his “hospital play by play” with me:
“I consider my twitter/facebook followers to be extended friends/family and it helped to feel like I had extended support. Also, as an on-air personality, I hate it when people just “disappear” from air for extended periods of time without explanation, and where it wasn’t something intensely private like a death or crime, etc. I didn’t feel like it was necessary to keep this private. As someone who had never been hospitalized, I found the experience to be very interesting, and I thought my Twitter/Facebook peeps would find it interesting, too. I generally am open with my followers on most aspects of my life from news, to sports, to what I’m eating or watching, so why would I close off the world now? Also, I tend to Tweet or post on FB when I’m bored, and I had plenty of downtime during my hospitalization and the time after that, so a lot of it popped out organically.”
I remember seeing the tweets and retweets and extended Facebook comments and thinking how wonderful to have so many people in your corner.
I never share my health on Facebook. Actually when I posted my blog the other day to the Wego Health Event page I didn’t realize it would show up one everyone’s timeline! (I hid it from my own immediately) I am perfectly fine with strangers reading about my fight with lupus but for some reason I have a very hard time letting those close to me know exactly how I’m feeling.
Chris’ experience is vastly different, in that his brain tumor is gone and he had never experienced something so serious with his health. For me, it’s a constant battle. I don’t know if taking over people’s social media feeds with my health is a good thing. I’m also not as funny as Chris; even battling a brain tumor he kept it light and was cracking jokes and posting sarcastic tweets every day. Props to Chris, for not only surviving a brain tumor hundreds of miles from home, but for staying positive throughout the entire ordeal.
For me, I’ll stick to this little blog and leave the very personal Facebook and Twitter posts for everyone else.