Video: The Social Media Experience

Voiceover: This program is made possible with the support and collaboration of Pfizer Oncology.

Carmen:

Welcome back!

In the last video, Quincy and I discussed how an online support community can help you. We also reviewed certain social media networks and terms that are used online. Remember, you can ‘like’ a post that you agree with and hashtags help you easily find related information.

Now, we’re going to show you how to create a social media account and connect with others.

Quincy:

Let’s begin with how to set up a Facebook account. Luckily, it’s a simple process with only a few steps.

Go to Facebook.com and fill out the “Create an Account” form

Then you’ll need to verify that your profile is you, by confirming it via your email account.

As you are prompted throughout the remaining steps of your setup, you’ll have the opportunity to setup Privacy & Security settings. To start, we recommend setting your information to private.

You can always adjust your privacy settings by clicking on the arrow on the top right of the Facebook screen and selecting “Settings” then “Privacy.”

Once you’ve taken these steps, you will be up and running.

You can then personalize your account, adding photos and other details that you want to share.

It’s important to remember that what you post online becomes your digital footprint and doesn’t disappear. Be thoughtful about what you choose to share!

You can share as much—or as little—information about yourself that you would like. Here’s how my Facebook page looks. I like to use it to share pictures, articles and updates about my life with my network.

To find family and friends, you can use the “Find Friends” tool, which will connect you to people in your address book automatically, if you give your permission. You can also search for people individually using the search bar.

Once you’ve connected with your friends and loved ones, you can branch out and find resources to follow.

For instance, if you want to follow the Patient Empowerment Network’s Facebook page, you would search for it using the search bar. Then you can “like” their page. That way, you will be updated as they post information.

You can also find a Facebook group that is focused on your type of cancer or supporting cancer patients. Some are private—meaning you will need to be approved to join–while others are open to everyone.

Once you are in a group, you will be able to see posts and stories shared by other patients and caregivers. You can choose to share your information or not. It’s okay to read and not share, it’s totally up to you.

Updates and activity of the friends, family, groups and organizations that you have “liked” will appear on your timeline or “Feed.”

Carmen:

Thanks, Quincy!

This may seem like a lot to understand and absorb, but once you have used social media a few times it will be second nature. And you can always re-watch these videos to refresh your memory on what we discussed.

If you need in-person support, it also may be helpful to have a friend or family member help you as you are setting up these accounts. Or check your local library for classes or other resources they offer to help you get up and running online.

Quincy:

What’s great is that once you have a Facebook account, you can actually use it to create an Instagram account, which is mostly for sharing photos and videos.

Creating a Twitter profile is also very straightforward. Like Facebook and Instagram, once you have an account, you can use the search tool to find people and organizations to follow.

Carmen:

We mentioned hashtags in the last video. You can use hashtags to find people you may want to follow on social media. For instance, searching on #breastcancer in any social media account will help you find resources and people who are posting information on this topic.

Remember: While connecting with other patients and sharing stories online can be a positive experience, be sure to check with your doctor about any medical advice you read.

OK, let’s review steps that will get you started on social media:

  • Set up a profile on the network of your choice and find people and resources to follow.
  • Join an online support group or Facebook group to connect with other patients.
  • Follow an advocacy group related to your condition on Twitter.
  • Find hashtags related to your condition.

Quincy:

This should give you a good start to connecting with people on social media and creating a support community.

We know we’ve covered a lot. As you get started with your own social media profile, remember you can always come back to watch this video to catch anything you may have missed.

In the next video, we’ll move on to putting your mobile devices—like your smartphone and tablet—to work for you and your health.

Carmen:

See you there!