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Social Media & Social Good

Posted Jan 01 2010 12:00am

Cancer Sucks! With that said social media has helped make cancer suck a little less. Stuck in the hospital, you're not alone you can use your phone or laptop and Tweet or check out Facebook. Doesn't matter what time of day or where you are, social media provides a way to stay connected.  You don't have to worry about germs, cold, weakness or time of day, social media allows you to maintain and create relationships with all sorts of people.

I know this first hand! During my cancer treatments the laptop became my best friend. Television got old quickly and didn't provide the human interaction I longed for.  That's when I popped open my laptop and started checking out my friends on Facebook.  I could look at pictures and see what everyone was up to.  The status updates allowed me the unique opportunity to know what friends and family where doing on any given day even though i was too sick to be there with them.  I could even play games like Scrabble and Bejewelled against friends in other states. Facebook kept me in the loop and helped prevent me from falling into deep loneliness and depression.

Then there was blogging!  I started this blog as my free therapy.  Writing about my battle, fears, anxieties and hopes gave me an outlet I had been searching for.  My blog allowed me to connect with others who battled cancer. Then I started learning more about all types of cancers, nonprofits that help and endless resources. Blogging helped me pull myself out of the cancer fog and back into the living.

Twitter became my good friend a bit later, when I had my kidney removed in March 2009.  Because of intense internal radiation I could not have a laproscopic surgery. A rib was removed in order to take out my left kidney and that meant lots of bed rest. Here I was again stuck in a hospital bed with no one to talk to.  My body didnt' care that it was 4 am, I was awake and bored.  But I knew that social media was my friend and always awake. I started exploring more on Twitter and was blown away at how happy it made me. There were thousands of people up at 4 am and they were happy to chat. I could tweet with other survivors, those who had the same procedure, people who wanted to support was GREAT!

Social media provides so much for those battling cancer. You can now find others who share your battle, talk with experts, access helpful resources and even play games. This is why I founded Spirit Jump through social media. I knew that there were so many like me who were reaching out through social media, looking for human interaction. Some people criticize social media for hindering human interaction. However, for those battling cancer often times human interaction is not an option. Social media allows cancer fighters to stay connected, fight the loneliness and LIVE!

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