bloggingchronic illness

Social Media & The Health Activist Community

WeGo Health HAWMC 2013

Day 11 Prompt: Write about your favorite social network. What is it and why?

Today’s prompt is practically impossible! How on earth am I supposed to be able to choose a favorite social media network? Even outside of blogging the list includes Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, Vine, and I can’t forget Google+ which I have yet to figure out. Each one has unique features, especially as it relates to being beneficial to the chronic illness community but if I had to pick a top two, they would be Twitter and Pinterest.

Twitter is a great way to connect and converse with other spoonies. I have met some great people though twitter parties and by following hashtags. I have been able to find support, encouragement, and laughs. Twitter acquaintances have turned into deep friendships and I am extremely grateful  for that! Twitter has definitely opened up some doors and taken down geographical divides that allow the health activist community to have no boundaries. Although I rarely use the Twitter app. I find Hootsuite much easier to use and manage (it allows you to manage your Facebook feeds as well – both personal and pages – so its 3 in 1 deal!)

Pinterest is just flat out fun. It is a great way to organize thoughts, ideas, and inspiration. It is almost like a digital scrapbook. I love that I can organize awesomeness I find on the interwebs like gluten-free recipes, tips for learning how to use my camera, or  planning out Abby’s 4th birthday party (ack!). With the brain fog that accompanies chronic illness, it is really beneficial being able to organize everything in one place. I love using Evernote to organize my written notes but Pinterest keeps all my visual and digital notes organized! I also love that I can use it to bookmark my favorite blog posts I discover that I may not be able to read at the moment whether due to time constraints or illness symptoms as well as keep posts as references. I keep a wide variety of pin boards active (maybe too many…is there a suggested limit for these types of things?) but my top three areas are all things blogging/design/social media – totally a nerd girl (you check out my list of blogging boards on the blogging resources page); boards dedicated to making life with illness easier (organizational tips, product recommendations, ways to keep your children entertained while you are bed-ridden), and lastly a board for keeping my marriage healthy.

Marriage is hard on its own and with chronic illness thrown in the mix it gets really tough. Currently the divorce rate among couples dealing with chronic illness is 75%. My jaw is still on the floor after reading that. I mean I understand and can see why. During your vows and you said “in sickness and in health” in your mind you picture the two of you old and frail after being married for 48 years but when you are in your 20s and one spouse falls ill and needs a constant caregiver, it changes things. There is stress of the illness, of money to pay for the illness, of the medications turning your once bubbly and active spouse into a depressed and lathargic person you hardly recognize. It is a lot. I didn’t plan to spew all of that out there but I did because it is important. My marriage is important to me and I do not want to be a part of that statistic so I will go all out and fight to keep my marriage strong and continue to edify my husband for being the most amazing husband, lover, best friend, soulmate, and caregiver for me and the most fabulous daddy for our daughter. Through Pinterest I have been able to find ways to strengthen our marriage even when I am bed-bound by turning off the TV and just talking. Not about bills, or my health , or potty training. But to talk about us.

I love that now Pinterest is available on both android and iOS devices so if I’m out at the store, I can easily access that amazing italian crock-pot chicken recipe I pinned last week.  I plan on overhauling and reorganizing my chronic illness related pinboard for a prompt next week so prepare to be amazed!

Now that you know my two favorite ways to connect on social media, what are yours? How do you feel they impact the health activist community as a whole? 

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