This is a collaborative post.
The Internet gets a terrible press these days. According to the papers, it’s responsible for all kinds of societal ills. From causing screen addiction through to Brexit. With all this going on it’s sometimes hard to remember that the world wide web came about as a way to help human progress and not to hinder it.
However, once you get past all the marketing and bots that clutter up much of the information superhighway, there is still a lot of value to be had on the Internet. And some of it might just help improve your health and wellbeing. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of being online.
Can The Internet Improve Your Health And Wellbeing?
Vast Resources For Health Topics
In days gone by, if you had a health condition, you had to make do with what your doctor told you and, perhaps, a small informational leaflet to take home. Of course, you could also head to your local library to find a book on your illness, but understanding the rather insular and complicated medical language required seven years at med school.
These days, however, the Internet gives you a whole host of medical information on almost any topic. You can learn about the symptoms and treatments of any illness, and even watch videos showing how procedures are performed. The modern patient is more knowledgeable as a result, and has, no doubt, prompted some people to go see the doctor when they otherwise wouldn’t have.
There is a negative to all this, of course. Some doctors curse things like symptom checkers because it draws out the hypochondriac in all of us. Ultimately, however, if you have concerns it’s better to find out you only have a cold now rather than cancer in a few years time.
Awareness Of Health Issues
While we are on the subject of hypochondria, it’s easy to look at your Facebook feed and see all your friends posting workout results, health food recipes etc and end up feeling a little bad about yourself.
But this awareness of what others are doing can have a positive effect on you. Over time, you might start to think if your friend can do it, why can’t you? Eventually, you will start taking notice of their achievements and start wanting a piece of the action.
You can also use the web to find out the calorie count of the sandwich you are about to eat, or news of a flu outbreak in your area – all of which is information you wouldn’t have before, but do now.
Of course, the web has also given rise to a host of technologies that enable you to take better care of yourself. Wearable tech relies on the Internet and your phone to link your smartwatch with the cloud.
These fitness devices and apps can track all of your vital statistics and suggest exercises – both physical and cognitive – that will benefit you. Once you have all your stats and are feeling confident you are making progress, you can share the info online with your friends and connections.
And when you start doing that, it’s the beginning of a process where you start to be competitive with yourself and take pride out of your performance. Pretty soon, you will be in great shape and pushing yourself even further.
Connect With Medical Professionals
The web has also paved the way for different ways of communicating with the medical profession. There are many online doctors who will give you the info you need these days, and you can even arrange a Live Chat/video – or phone call – with them should you need it.
It’s not just doctors, either. These days, it’s possible to get presciption medicine online, which can be an incredibly valuable service when you are ill, injured or struggling to get to the pharmacist.
Also, don’t forget that even if you just go to your local surgery, your doctor is likely going to use the web to ensure you get the right treatment. Medical professionals can access and share your records with others to better prepare a diagnosis or give educated advice on what they believe to be the best course of action.
The Social Connection
According to many studies, those that stay in touch with friends and family are more likely to have better health. And given that the Internet makes it so, so easy to stay connected with your loved ones – whether it’s on social media or email – it makes sense to suggest that you feel all the better for it.
The web is not just a place to find information. It’s also great for tapping into the lives of your relations, sharing your lives with them, and posting updates about your life. You can use video calling – entirely free – such as Skype to have a live conversation. There’s no doubt about it – the web has given us an incredible means of communication that has made the world smaller.
Family connections are so critical in modern life, despite the fact, there is a lot more pressure to be able to move towns, or even countries, in a job. Even if you end up in Australia, you still have those vital connections via the web.
The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things, or IoT, is becoming an increasingly important part of our lives. And in the not-too-distant future, we could start seeing some incredible devices becoming available to the mainstream consumer that will enable us to take full control over our health and wellbeing.
You may not even have to go to the hospital in the future. Remote health monitoring, also known as telehealth, is already minimising costs for patients and hospitals, but it also spares the need for ill people to suffer the inconvenience of travel. It can make the world of difference to all kinds of patients, from those with mobility issues to those who cannot drive.
As you can see, the Internet may well be a target for consternation these days, but ultimately it is a force for good. Anything that helps your health and wellbeing should be praised. So let’s start making better use of it!
This is a collaborative post.