Is Twitter Our New WebMD?

You wake up coughing and wheezing, wondering what new bacteria has disrupted your immune system. In fact, you may even feel the urge to roll back over into bed and accept your fate. Nonetheless, the question still remains – what exactly is causing these symptoms? Today it is to easy to establish a self-diagnosis. Whether it’s a simple Google search or a trustworthy recommendation from your mom, the possibilities are there. As this method of diagnosis continues to evolve, our generation is starting to turn to social media, specifically Twitter, for their new medical advice. 

Within the past two weeks threads and videos over health, have gone viral all over Twitter. The tweets often include information that no one ever thought they needed to know or suspected it needed to be shared. Allowing this media to become an outlet of medical advice is nerve-wracking but allowing the site to promote awareness seems beneficial to any self-diagnoser, like me.

Twitter’s recent viral medical advice started off with a thread from @DrJenGunter, formally know as Jennifer Gunter. Here Gunter provides a list of reasons why women should not use garlic cloves to cure a yeast infection at home. Yes, the home remedy of slipping a clove inside of you can be found in that Google search you decided to make. Unless you’re a hardcore believer in “don’t knock it before you try it,” the idea of anyone trying this remedy is unbelievable. Gunter reassures us that the garlic experiment may work in a lab, but the same results may not happen in your vagina.

The response she received from this informative thread was shocking and turned into an entire discussion on women’s health. This same response occurred with @jordannjust’s compilation of sex-ed videos. Before even clicking the video, you can prepare to be amazed. There is a large model, or “puppet,” of the vulva. Kelly Grove, the presenter, is rocking a shirt that is covered with several silhouettes of a uterus. After getting over the demonstrator’s attire and props, the learning begins.

The tread begins with the importance of stimulating your clitoris versus penetration for sexual pleasure. She explains the biological factors of a woman orgasming and demonstrates the difficulties that occur with penetration. Next, Kelly reforms the definition of sex and establishes the importance of foreplay. Not only was their major tea spilt in this thread, but Grove delivered information that many women are insecure about. The lack of an orgasm is socially viewed as a fault on the women’s part, which isn’t always the case.

Although, it is easy to love and follow the guidelines given to us by Gunter and Grove, the ability to seek concrete medical attention needs to be reiterated. I personally loved the threads, but I am nervous about what the audience may do with the information. Twitter should not be your new WebMD. Matter of fact, WebMD shouldn’t be your MD at all! No matter what type of medicine you use – mainstream medicine or alternative medicine – it is best to find a professional to help. Do your own research, but don’t let it be your own source!