Monitoring the needs of the target audience is a crucial step toward creating a safe environment in which the needs of patients can be addressed accordingly. Therefore, it is essential to determine the tools that will allow gathering the required information within a comparatively short amount of time. Furthermore, the tools in question will have to help embrace as wide an audience as possible so that the needs of diverse demographics could be identified and managed correspondingly. Therefore, the tools such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram should be considered since they create premises for collecting the relevant data in a manner as efficient as possible.
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The use of the identified tools helps disseminate the necessary data within a relatively short amount of time to millions of people through reposts, with the help of sharing, by using “likes” as the means of marking important and useful data, etc. While often dismissed as the platform for solely regular interaction, the identified specimens of modern media must be incorporated into the program aimed at raising health-related awareness. As a result, a gradual improvement in patient outcomes can be expected.
The use of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram allows for a more granular analysis of the relevant data regarding the epidemiology-related issues. For instance, Twitter can be used as the means of determining the number of instances of developing a particular disease based on the number of tweets. In a similar way, the levels of awareness about the subject matter can be evaluated quantitatively by counting the number of tweets and retweets of the essential data about the diseases that pose a significant threat to people’s well-being at present.
Facebook, in turn, can be viewed as an essential tool for determining the awareness rates within a particular group or community. Seeing that the platform creates a chance for people to join specific groups, it will be reasonable to calculate the number of participants in the groups linked to the issues of health, epidemiology, raising awareness about certain diseases (e.g., HIV/AIDS). As a result, crucial information can be collected (Yost, 2014).
Finally, Instagram can be used to provide the necessary information in a compact and easily understandable way. Since Instagram suggests mostly the use of pictures, the data provided to the users will be immediately relatable and understood by any member of the target population. Thus, the partial removal of the language barrier, which Instagram provides, can be viewed as a crucial advantage of the tool. In other words, the platform can be used to promote instant knowledge acquisition among the target population. The identified characteristic of the tool is especially important when there is the need to deliver essential data about the diseases such as HIV/AIDS and ST since it focuses people’s attention of the crucial information and helps them develop the required behavioral strategies so that healthy lifestyles could be adopted fast (Fung, Tse, & Fu, 2015).
To help raise awareness about HIV and STD among young people, as well as gain support among those that do not have the specified problem, the use of social media is crucial. The incorporation of the said tools will help unify the society and point to the problem of social ostracism to which the people with AIDS/HIV and STD are often subjected. As a result, mass awareness can be raised within very short time. Thus, apart from helping people with HIV/AIDS and STD get the required help, social media will contribute to promoting the idea of supporting the target population and prevent their alienation from their communities.
Fung, C. H., Tse, Z. T. H., & Fu, K. W. (2015). The use of social media in public health surveillance. Western Pacific Surveillance and Response Journal, 6(2). 3-6.
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Yost, J., Dobbins, M., Traynor, J., DeCorby, K., Workentine, S., & Greco, L. (2014). Tools to support evidence-informed public health decision making. BMC Public Health, 14(1), 728-731.