Five Ways Social Media Can Affect Your Health
Allison Bush | April 26, 2013
Science is now showing us how our interactions across social media can affect our personal health habits and decisions in both good ways and bad. See how your community may be influencing you.
It affects how we make important health decisions
A study published in Pediatrics suggests parents are influenced by social media when deciding about child vaccinations. Researchers surveyed 196 parents in a low-vaccination area. Parents who did not comply with the CDC’s vaccination had a greater number of people in their social networks who suggested they don’t comply.
It can support the healthiness of older people
The use of social media by older people can offer valuable additional support in cases of sickness and diseases, new research from the University of Luxembourg has shown. With the successful use of a computer or web-enabled device, older adults report enhanced feelings of control and self-efficiency.
It can improve overall public health
Think about it: if you constantly see updates on Facebook about eating healthy and exercising, you’re bound to start thinking about your own habits. The more we know about how healthful habits and positive attitudes spread on social media, the more it will help experts use natural social networks to improve public health. However, the influence of social networks can also work in the other direction (as seen in the next slide).