Social media is in the firing line at the moment for bombarding us with unrealistic photo shopped images, causing depression through self-comparison and taking us away from more valuable pass times. However new research from the Macmillan Cancer charity shows that there is a very positive side to social media. 1 in 4 women are finding comfort and strength through the likes of Facebook and Instagram as it is helping them to connect with other cancer fighters. Nearly a quarter of these women said they felt their self-esteem had improved through social media and 18% found it easier to talk to people on social media about their worries than their loved ones.
It may seem unexpected that women facing cancer turn to strangers rather than their friends but I can completely relate to this. It can be so hard talking about your worries and fear of cancer with the people you love as you’re worried you will upset them. They are as effected by your diagnosis as you are. There is also something very comforting about talking to someone who knows first-hand how you feel and what you face in treatment. There is no pity between cancer patients, no head tilts and sad eyes. You are on the same page and that makes life a lot less lonely and scary.
The Macmillan research is fantastic for a cancer blogger like me as it gives real credit and recognition to what I do. Knowing that my story has helped other women feel better, stronger and less alone while facing cancer is wonderful and it really gives my year of hell some meaning and purpose.
I’ve made a lot of friends over the little squares of Instagram. Something that I could never have imagined back when I started my page feeling very scared and vulnerable. I’m so grateful to all these women who had my back through and beyond breast cancer.
I was Interviewed last night on the BBC 2 show Timeline about my thoughts on Social Media and cancer. Click here to see the video