Doc Talk #155 – Social Media and Health

Social media has undoubtedly had an impact on healthcare. We use social media to talk about health, find healthcare information, and it is used by healthcare providers to message and advertise.

conflicts of interest, hidden interests, lack of peer references

Unlike scientific papers, people don’t put conflict of interest statements on their Facebook posts

blurring or professional/personal boundaries, reputational damage, undermining confidence in healthcare systems, privacy

Social media platforms want your single most important resource: your attention

Social media has a significant effect on attention spans and some research suggests that a single interruption (such as a push notification) can derail focus for 25 minutes!

If you want to know about FOMO, PSMU and phubbing, click above to listen again.

It’s definitely not all bad and social media can be used for good, including “fitspiration”, as a resource for finding health and fitness information, and for engaging sections of the population with public health messaging (such as seniors and adolescents).

Image by Today Testing (for derivative) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (