How Technology Has the Ability to Influence Our Health & Well-Being


In the age of social media, and the transparency that the Internet has brought to all of our lives, there are new implications for the field of health and wellness. Telemedicine, technological health communication, and various other developments are occurring that are transforming how we view health care and how information is transferred across various media.

One of the most common forms of social media and technological health communication is blogging. We have seen a burgeoning community of people on the internet who have taken to blogs to provide a platform for numerous different niches within health and wellness. Some bloggers focus on dieting, recipes, and culinary exploits that promote health and wellness. Others promote mental health and provide insight into the ups and downs of mental illness. Some bloggers use exercise as their main method of health communication and wellness promotion.

A well-known blogger in Australia named Belle Gibson initially took to blogging to cover all types of health and wellness promotion including dieting, lifestyle, and recipe sharing. Her success in the field brought her the opportunity to develop an application.

Late last year, Belle Gibson ran into a snag; the development of brain cancer. She used her blog as a place to track her progress throughout treating her illness, and trying to come out on the other side. For the most part, Belle Gibson claimed that traditional methods such as chemotherapy and radiation were not used. She only used dietary tactics and wellness promotion initiatives to remedy the tumor naturally.

Earlier this week after certain contradictions were acknowledged in her story, Belle Gibson came forward with the truth: she never had a battle with bran cancer, the tumor was non-existent, and her blog contained an expansive list of lies and deceit. Belle Gibson lied about one of the worst potential illnesses possible to garner attention for her online presence, and now she is feeling the heat from those who are outraged by her lies.

This is a massive blow to the online health and wellness promotion community, especially within the “blogosphere.” It is important to take what you read and see on the Internet at face value but overall, the Belle Gibson situation is one giant step back in the effectiveness of social media in health and wellness promotion. 

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Urs Steiner

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