I Love It When My Worlds Collide

I love it when the social media and public health worlds truly collide. I think it makes for such a great integration of health messaging and fun, engaging, and educational social memes.

A favorite site for these viral memes is buzzfeed.com. Some recent great ones have included wedding invite ideas, a face-off between Ryan Lotche and Michael Phelps (during the Summer Olympics), and the reaction to People Magazine’s selection of Channing Tatum as Sexiest Man of the Year (or rather their snub of Ryan Gosling for a second time in a row).

Well, I recently came across one that is now one of my all time favs.

Buzzfeed’s “9 Cold and Flu Myths to Stop Believing This Winter” is a great example of how social can make public health issues fun and engaging. In their photo-journalistic style featuring large images and short copy, they easily convey some key recommendations coming out of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) around influenza vaccination.

Buzzfeed’s take on flu season is an example of the promise of social media for public health – it takes something that traditionally does not fit into the paradigm of social media and makes it, in fact, fun, humorous, and entertaining while still conveying accurate health information. And by doing this on a site such as buzzfeed, these messages hit the mainstream online raising their visibility amongst an active, engaged and influential digital audience.

I look forward to seeing more of these types of integrations in the future as the worlds of social media and public health continue to converge.

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