Using Social Media to Research Your Cancer: Twitter
Think social media is just for kids? Think again and watch this excerpt from #AllThingsCancer (You can watch the full episode here.)
Social media is a treasure trove when it comes to researching your cancer. Twitter, for example, let’s you follow thought leaders in health, medicine and any topic you can think of. You can tune into TweetChats, follow hashtags, and connect with patients like you.
How can this work for you? Here’s a quick primer on using Twitter to take charge of your health:
1. Create a Twitter account here. You’ll be asked to create a name. The name you create cannot be changed. Here are some hints for choosing a good twitter name:
- Keep it short
- Keep it relevant
- Avoid underscores
2.Upload a picture. It can be of you, or something meaningful. Pictures build trust. Using the default avatar supplied by Twitter makes you look dubious.
3.Follow people and groups of interest. Start by searching for @anticancerclub and follow us. You’ll find lots of relevant and interesting people in our feed, and you can follow them too.
Only Retweets Matter!
On Twitter “Liking” something is nice, but meaningless. The only thing that matters is “ReTweeting” This means you share the information you like with your network. Social media is about social sharing. Please ReTweet.
Get Involved: Lurk, listen or tweet!
You can just watch or you can participate. Ultimately, social media is about getting involved. Follow leading doctors; connect with fellow patients; joint a TweetChat about your type of cancer.
A TweetChat uses a hashtag (#) to identify itself. For example, every Thursday at 5pm Pacific Time/ 8pm Eastern Time Lung Cancer Social Media (Hashtag #LCSM) has a TweetChat to discuss some element of lung cancer. To go to the TweetChat, type #LCSM into the Twitter (or Google) search. It will bring you to a page that lists all the tweets associated with #LCSM.
Just watch the first few times. You’ll see people coming in, saying hi and sharing their ideas. Everyone types in #LCSM to identify the tweet with this hashtag. If you miss the TweetChat, you can enter the hashtag and go back and read the transcript of the conversation.
To learn more about medical hashtags, go to Simplyr.com