Why I Post So Much on Social Media as Someone With a Chronic Illness
“Why are you on social media so much? Why do you post so much?”
These are questions that we, with chronic illnesses, either directly hear or are confident others are saying behind our backs. The answer is pretty simple. Most think it’s for attention or it’s to get someone to feel sorry for us, but that’s incorrect. For many of us, the reason we use social media so much is because it’s our lifeline and our form of communication to the outside world.
Think about this for a minute. You don’t go to work because you have lost your career, you can’t drive so you go nowhere. Even just a trip to the store is delayed for days and weeks until you feel good enough to just drag yourself out for a few hours.
So tell me – who exactly do you talk to? Those coworker conversations? Many of us don’t get them. The banter that you have with someone when your picking up breakfast or coffee? Nope, we don’t have that. The lunch time that you get to go with coworker to lunch or with multiple people? Nope, that’s gone. The drive on the way home from work where you get to listen to the radio or maybe stop and get dinner? That’s gone, because remember, you can’t drive or eat out.
Imagine all the conversations that you have in a week outside of your house. Now imagine that all that interaction is taken away. You have no one to talk to and no one to vent too. Even if you did, typically the one or two people that you don’t lose from your life during the process, they don’t want to hear it or talk about it.
So where does that leave you? Social media.
That is why for many of us, social media is our lifeline when we are sick. I have made so many friends online that no matter who leaves me in my real life, I will have that support. We meet other people that “get it,” and people that don’t get tired of seeing it and hearing it because they are living it it too. The support I have found online has made a huge difference for me and when I feel lonely and misunderstood.
So next time you see where someone like me post online, don’t roll your eyes and think, “Oh, here it is again.” Or, “Why does she post so much?” Instead, try and think, “What if I were sick and I lost all other ways to communicate? Then what would I do and how would I deal?”
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