The Inaccurate Portrayal of Lupus 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 financial struggles of patients with 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 where every day is a battle.
Respect, understanding, and positive support are much needed including an appreciation for their efforts of treatment and lifestyle changes. For people that go through life with only minor ailments, daily living can be relatively easier. Tasks like 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. But for people with chronic illness performing day to day tasks are a challenge.
Currently, there are many serious chronic diseases that have been 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.
Social media as catalyst for false assumptions
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.