Social Media and Chronic Illness

When it comes to chronic illness, social media can be a blessing and a curse. Especially if your condition prevents you from getting out of the house, social media can be a great way to keep in touch with friends and family. It can also be a great way to connect with online support groups.

social media

Photo credit: Jason Howie

Being a member of an online support group comes with many benefits. First, you can make friends with people who are struggling with the same conditions and symptoms. Having a friend that truly understands what you are going through is invaluable. In addition to meeting people who you connect with on a personal level, the online support group can give you a feeling of belonging, provide you with knowledge and educational resources about your condition, and give you a place to seek comfort, let off steam or assuage your fears.

However, as with most things, there can be negatives to participating in social media when you are struggling with a chronic illness:

1. Fear of missing out (aka FOMO)

When your illness limits your ability to participate in social activities, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can be death traps of self-pity, frustration and jealousy. From seeing pictures of your friends enjoying a night out to posts about weddings, babies, new jobs and new homes, social media can quickly make you feel like your life isn’t measuring up.

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