The news seems to be constantly full of the triumphs and downfalls of social media. It’s constantly being seen as storing up problems for the future and revolutionising modern life and allowing us to achieve new heights in communications, product research and trade.
You all know I am one to sing the constant praises of this 21st century phenomenon, for without those 140 characters or endless friend requests, blogging would not be a popular activity. Even if it were, without your ‘feed’ what are the chances you’d have heard of RemissionPossible at all?
Cancer is a mechanism for meeting the best and worst of the online world, both inspirational patients and others…. We all know there is a darker side to all this public posting… social media types I like to call ‘online menaces’ and the ones hereby mentioned are my biggest annoyances and bugbears.
- The Conspiracy Theorists.
For someone going through cancer, this is possibly the most insulting type of menace you can encounter. I’ve certainly felt very angry after reading comments from some of these.
These theorists are those who undermine your cancer treatment options, choices and plans, and claim ‘natural’ options are the best way to cure cancer. Now, I’m sorry if you are a personal believer in the power of walnuts, but wheatgrass diets, coffee enemas and yoga breaks do not seem a viable method for long term cure. The popular favourite ‘cure’ (not saying it isn’t, it’s just not proven) is the old faithful cannabis oil. In my mind, if you’re trying to sell someone a miracle cure, going for the illegal drugs seems wrong. Everyone knows it relaxes and reduces pain but I have reflexology once a week and that relaxes me, and reduces pain in my feet, but I would never abandon my cytotoxic poison for a foot rub.
The thing is, I have my faith rooted in proven, and research led, scientifically sound treatments. It would be incredible to think that an all-natural, vegan diet could have gotten me to a place of health, but it simply wouldn’t have happened. It is hurtful to read emails, comments saying a lifestyle switch could right me quicker than medicine, because I know that isn’t true and had I taken such measures there is no way I would be alive today. I knew what I signed up for with my medical consent form. I knew my chemotherapy could cause infertility and secondary cancers. I knew my radiotherapy could cause cataracts, lung scarring and changes in taste. I knew the transplant could leave me with organ failure and no quality of life. I also knew none of these things could happen, I could lead a normal life- and that the alternative was being 6 feet under.
2. The Trolls
These are the nastiest breed of them all, and actually the reason for writing this rather ranty blog. It has been briefly covered in the news the Nick Robinson had recently been diagnosed with cancer. Of course this is very sad for him, and unfortunate if he was one of your favourite reporters, but of little consequence
in everyday life. Apparently not to the trolls sending him abuse on twitter.
Let me get this straight. Him being no campaign in the Scottish Referendum does not make him deserving of cancer through bad karma, as some tweets implied.
I do hear of other trolling, people being told they’re attention seeking and all sorts of other unmentionable things. Come on guys, would you be brave enough to say it to that person’s face? Trolling is the ultimate cowardly bullying.
I really can’t say much on the topic of trolling someone with cancer, simply because I will get far too angry writing this. Surely having cancer is enough of a sh*t deal WITHOUT receiving ignorant abuse.
3. The Unnecessary Sharers
This is probably the only type that everyone reading will be able to understand, and have experienced. I do wonder if some people actually know that a share, comment or like has no magical powers. We’ve often seen it, a picture that claims your sharing supports the fight against cancer, or proves that you care. It makes me uncomfortable, the idea that scrolling on by these pictures insinuates that you don’t care. I most certainly don’t share them, and I don’t think anyone could argue that I don’t want to end the fight against cancer. It’s just weird.
Maybe this is strongly opinionated, ranty and boring but I hope you all have better internet habits (and experiences) than these.