In February, a group of people in New Zealand decided to start a campaign against flu, with a Facebook campaign titled #Food for the Cure.
The hashtag #FoodForTheCure is an internet meme that encourages people to share their experiences of flu with their friends and family.
On Twitter, the hashtag was trending at the time.
But the hashtag’s popularity and spread has since picked up.
Now, there are over 30,000 #FoodfortheCure tweets, with more than 60,000 tweets posted daily, according to the hashtag page.
“It’s the perfect storm for social media,” says Dr Daniela Mancini, a lecturer at the University of Auckland’s School of Information and Technology.
“We get all sorts of messages from people, and then people who are just not able to get around to it.”
She says many people don’t realise that they are being encouraged to share information that could potentially save their life.
“The more they do, the more people that can understand the potential,” she says.
But what if you don’t have a lot of friends and/or social media?
What about if you are a doctor or a social worker?
Are you just not comfortable sharing your own stories?
Dr Mancinis says social media has made it easier to share, and to get to know people.
“For the people who can’t find someone to talk to, or don’t want to, that’s a good thing.
And it’s a great way to help people out, to find each other, to talk,” she explains.”
But it’s also been very hard for the general public, particularly the younger generation, who are more easily influenced by what they see on the internet.”
For example, she says, it’s not a good idea to start talking about your symptoms on Facebook.
“You have to do it in the context of the person that you’re talking to, and it doesn’t really matter what you’re saying,” she advises.
So if you want to share your experiences, Dr Mancinks advises that you take your time and be mindful of what you say.
“And just don’t go into it thinking that you are saying something that will save your life,” she adds.
Dr Mann, the other expert, says social networks are often a great tool for sharing experiences, but they are not a substitute for the advice that comes from the medical community.
“If you don´t want to have a conversation with someone, don’t, and don’t say anything you donít feel comfortable saying, then don’t talk to them,” she warns.
What can you do to help?
Dr Manne says social platforms have a responsibility to help educate people about flu.
“They are a wonderful tool for communication, and they are also a great resource for information and research,” she said.
“People are often in the wrong about flu, and sometimes it is really hard to understand how flu works, what it is, and what to do about it.”
I think a lot people are really trying to learn about flu at this stage.
“Dr Manna agrees that it is a difficult time for people.
But she thinks social media can help.”
When people get information about flu through social media, they can get information from others, so they can connect,” she explained.”
That helps people get through the process of flu, because people who get information online are more likely to get that information.
“Social media can be really helpful, and can help to encourage people to keep going, to be patient, to take their time and get to understand it better.”
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