Should People Post About Their Health On Facebook?

I am participating in Wego Health’s National Health Blog Post Month. Today’s topic is, “Should people post about their (or loved ones) health on Facebook? Why/why not?”

Facebook IconI guess if we aren’t supposed to, I am in trouble! Obviously, my answer to that question is yes. People sharing information about their health in the Diabetes Online Community (DOC) has helped me and numerous other people. If it were not for being able to share online, I really don’t know where I would be today. Besides finding help for yourself, you help other people. Sometimes other people are reading those messages and afraid to ask someone. By reading the conversation, they are getting help.

But with that being said, I would also like to point out that when people post on message boards, they are usually doing it under an assumed name. When people post in Facebook, they are normally using their real name. Even though you set who can read your posts, there have been many instances come out about people’s statements being read by other people that they did not plan on having read them. When you post something in Facebook, if it is not something you want the world to read, don’t post it.

Wego Health National Blog Posting MonthPlease visit Wego Health’s National Health Blog Post Month Facebook page to read other activist’s posts.


6 thoughts on “Should People Post About Their Health On Facebook?

  1. I think it depends on how much detail and who are your friends on Facebook. I am bipolar and never put that was on Facebook due to the stigma of bipolar disorder. I will post about feeling sick and health procedures (liver surgery, hysterectomy, ablation) or if I can’t move due to consistent back issues. The other question is this, how often do you post? I have friends that complain daily about their health, it almost seems like they have grasping for sympathy and pity.

    I also never post anything about my hubby on Facebook without his permission, which isn’t often. A big reason is because his mom and sister are my friends and need to know about his health through a phone call, not Facebook.

    Oh, on that note, I don’t think it’s right to put major news on Facebook before you tell your close family. I found out my brother was going to have a kid through Facebook. It’s just wrong.

    You are correct about other online communities like the doc. There is a security that people don’t know who I am besides Betty or boop1982. If one of my friends stumbles across my blog it is because they are searching for something diabetes related. They don’t have my blog info because I get really personal.

    So, in summary, it depends.

    • Thanks Betty! I agree that you can limit who sees your posts, but unfortunately, that doesn’t always work. I just had a conversation with some friends in Facebook. The friend that started the conversation wanted to share it on her diabetes page. I told her to take a screenshot of the posts and then link back to it. Anyone can take a screenshot and share it outside of Facebook. That is why I think even if you are only talking to friends, you still need to be careful.

      I can understand the stigma of being bipolar and not wanting to put that out there.

      I have a lot of d-friends so I post daily about diabetes related issues. I know other people don’t, but about 99% of my friends in FB are other diabetics.

      I think that is good that you don’t post about your husband without his permission. I know I wouldn’t want someone posting about me without asking first!

      Yes, your brother should have picked up the phone! Sadly, posting stuff like that in FB first seems to be more and more popular these days.

      I decided to use my real name for my blog but I understand why other people don’t.

  2. Interesting that you posted this today, immediately after I posted on FB that it is my 46th diabetes anniversary (not a date I usually pay attention to, except someone else on FB shared their son was just diagnosed at 18 months, the same age as I was )….

    Anyway, this past week I also discovered that when I gave permission for my name to be used in an article on a D. Site, it allowed anyone doing a google search of my name to not only read the article, but also easily find all the posts I had made with my user name! Many people did not understand my concern, basically saying I should know that anything I post could be read. Yes, I understand. But now people who know me professionally – say, families searching abut their child’s new teacher – could EASILY find very personal information. Yikes!

    The site did take my concerns seriously and removed my last name from the article and URL. (Unfortunately, google hasn’t quite caught up yet.) I am more cautious from this day forward.

    • I agree with you Pam. I know people do have concerns that they do not want people who know them professionally to read their comments on health sites. When I was working, I did not want people to know that I was diabetic – it wasn’t any of thier business nor did it have anything to do with my capabilties of doing that job. One of the first jobs I had, my boss flipped out after finding out I was diabetic on my first or 2nd day there – he read my insurance application. After that, I didn’t tell anyone until I had my foot in the door and they knew I was a good employee.

      It does take quite awhile for Google to catch up. I am glad that they took your concerns seriously and took your last name off.

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