Should patients use Facebook for diagnosis and treatment support?

Many patients and their caregivers are using Facebook  

Facebook has over 2 billion users worldwide.  It seems natural that if you use Facebook to connect with family and friends, you might also use it to connect with people who share your health concerns.  In fact, this is what many people do.  Many patients and family caregivers use Facebook private groups to connect with others to help navigate the diagnosis journey and search for treatment plans.  Why not? Facebook is free!

The fact is, Facebook’s private groups are not private.

But, as they say, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, and you never get something for nothing. Facebook, along with Google, are the two biggest players in what Harvard professor, Shoshana Zuboff, describes as surveillance capitalism. Surveillance capitalism is not about serving people’s genuine needs, so don’t be surprised to learn that participation in a Facebook private group becomes another data point about you for surveillance capitalists.

My Health Information Co-op provides an alternative to participating in the surveillance economy.

It is time for patients to take matters into their own hands.  My Health Information Co-op’s social learning platform can serve the same function as Facebook.  Patients and family caregivers can use the Co-op’s private groups to connect with others for support navigating the diagnosis journey and searching for treatment plans. The Co-op’s service is free to use and does not sell information to advertisers or anyone else.

My Health Information Co-op is a non-profit social enterprise that operates on the values of self-helpself-responsibilitydemocracyequalityequity, and solidarity.   Consider supporting this patient-centered initiative by joining the Co-op with a Free of Paid membership.   

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