Using Social Media to Communicate Diabetes to Young Adults
Diabetes is a lifestyle condition that has become common among children and young adults. Even so, young adults living with the condition haven’t received a lot of attention compared to that given to adults living with diabetes. Change in lifestyle is additionally witnessed amongst young people exposing them to the risk of diabetes.
Therefore, there is need to communicate the disease to address young adults living with the disease on the awareness and ways of adopting a healthy lifestyle to reduce cases of diabetes and risks of contracting the disease at an early age (Thorpe, et al, 2008, p. 97). Education entertainment will help pass information of the disease, its causes, prevention, and healthy lifestyle and how to manage the disease in patients.
Education entertainment however will depend on social media network being used. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube are some of the networks that can be used. YouTube for instance can be utilized to develop short videos on different eating habits and exercises that help keep diabetes at bay and prevent progression in an individual already suffering from the condition.
YouTube videos will also showcase games and exercises that one can engage in on daily basis at school and at place of work. The demonstrations will also show some of the most effective exercises to help maintain proper weight and how to balance exercises and healthy diet. The videos can also be used to show different types of foods that increase the risk of diabetes (Numera, 003, February).
Animations for example can be used to show how to mix food ratios especially fibers. The videos should also be accompanied by a sense of humor as well as simple messages that target audience can easily grasp bearing in mind that young adults are persons between 13 and 25 yrs.
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Instagram on the other can be used to share photos on the right food quantities and a combination of the same especially protective foods and those rich in fiber. The pictures can be accompanied by short descriptions on aspects of healthy lifestyles such as how to prepare healthy foods. The network additionally will come in handy in passing information on the disease, its awareness on diabetes day and management of the disease.
For instance, Instagram can be used to educate the people on insulin injection and its systematic process. YouTube also can be used to offer presentations on the importance of regular checkups even in the event of fewer symptoms (Schiavo, 2007).
Twitter and Facebook on the other hand can be utilized to deliver in-depth information on the disease including its developments in research, symptoms to be watched out for and the importance of lifestyle change following diagnosis of the disease. Additionally, it can be used to provide tips on how to get reliable testing centers and doctors. What’s more, Twitter and Facebook can be used to link young adults to vital websites that pass information on management and prevention of the disease amongst young adults, more specifically diabetes Type 1(Thorpe, et al, 2008, p. 95).
Many people however do not find time to go through information provided as per detailed research in different websites. Social networks can therefore be used to pass on such information, facts one by one briefly and in a captivating way. The facts can be provided via Twitter handle and simple details that can be easily understood by target audience (Park and Calamaro, 2013, p. 259).
Similarly, Twitter and Facebook can be utilized to get feedback from young adults. This is essential because it forms the basis of the awareness programs that can be carried out within the community and coordinated efficiently online (Numera, 003, February). Such social networks are additionally imperative in informing young adults on treatment and vaccines.
Young adults can also pass and share information via social networks to reach out to a wider target audience because the platforms allow sharing of information in an instant (Park & Calamaro, 2013, p. 262). What’s more, Twitter and Facebook can be utilized to encourage target audience to participate in scheduled group exercises and eat healthy as a group.
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Numera. (0003, February). American Diabetes Association Partners with Numera to Manage Diabetes Using Social Media.Business Wire (English).
Park, B., & Calamaro, C. (2013). A Systematic Review of Social Networking Sites: Innovative Platforms for Health Research Targeting Adolescents and Young Adults. Journal Of Nursing Scholarship, 45(3), 256-264. doi:10.1111/jnu.12032
Schiavo, R. (2007). Health Communication: From Theory to Practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Thorpe, C. T., Lewis, M. A., & Sterba, K. R. (2008). Reactions to Health-Related Social Control in Young Adults with Type 1 Diabetes.Journal Of Behavioral Medicine, 31(2), 93-103. doi:10.1007/s10865-007-9125-4