Lupus is Misunderstood on Social Media
Being diagnosed with a serious or chronic disease, such as lupus, is without a doubt complicated and frightening. The physical, emotional, and even financial struggles of patients with such complex medical conditions are sometimes indescribable and can be hard to fully understand from an outsider’s perspective. These people are placed in unfortunate situations wherein they have to compulsorily fight a battle that’s residing within them every single day.
Respect, understanding, and positive support are much needed from the environment and should be given, including an appreciation for their efforts of doing treatment and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Such simple acts from family, friends, and co-workers are greatly useful and can go a long way in giving patients a better quality life. For people that go through life with only minor ailments, different aspects of daily living can be relatively easier to perform and complete. Certain tasks such as going to parties with friends, working overtime, pulling on an all-nighter to very mundane, and basic, ones such as eating, sleeping, driving and writing, are all possible to act out. However, in specific and unfortunate cases, people can become horribly sick and performing these tasks may become a challenge as certain areas of their body such as their brain, heart, liver or immune system fail to function properly.
Currently, there are many serious chronic diseases that are being diagnosed worldwide. Each year in the United States alone, there are 60, 000 new cases of Parkinson’s, 340,000 people being diagnosed with cancer, and an estimate of 1.5 million patients with lupus. Among the ones mentioned, lupus has a lot of invisible symptoms.
Patients that are diagnosed with such conditions may go through different signs and symptoms, but in most cases, they are painstakingly difficult and in a worst-case scenario, may turn life-threatening. Following the message of the previous statement, people should not be quick to judge people whose symptoms are unseen, especially when they are judging from behind their computer screen.
Social media as catalyst of false judgments
With the advent of social media, people around the globe are able to connect easily and build networks and relationships with other people online. There are thousands of benefits that one could gain from using social media, which is why billions are signing-up and utilizing platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram every single day. Indeed, these sites have become the ground for faster and more efficient communication, offering them the opportunity of reaching a group of people at a single time with just one click.
However, there are downsides to sharing your personal life online. People usually tend to forget that the posts that can be seen on Facebook or Instagram are clean cuts and watered-down versions of someone's life. Thus, the messages and photos found on these social networking sites do not always represent the reality of the people posting them. One cannot possibly create an accurate judgment about a person basing on what someone sees on the internet alone. And yet, more and more, people seem like it is completely fine to do so.