Social Media Evaluation Impacted Health Behaviors
Social media campaigns have been employed to conduct mass population education of large proportions of the population. Before the percolation of social media across the global population, conventional media, such as newspapers, television, and radio, were the main forms of communication mediums but have become passive with the growing popularity of social media as a source of information. As a result, social media campaigns have been adopted as a communication channel about core health concerns to either create awareness of the health concerns, prevent risky health behaviors, and raise funds to address the growing health concerns (Wakefield et al., 2010). Some health social media campaigns that attracted global intention include the New Zealand Health Sponsorship Council Online Anti-Smoking Challenge, Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness and funds to fight ALS, and the Know Your Lemons campaign. The effectiveness of social media campaigns to accomplish certain health objectives prevent the negative change in health-related behaviors across a population.
Ice Bucket Challenge
The Ice Bucket Challenge started to create awareness and funds to research Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The challenge was initiated in 2014 in Washington, DC, and increased the funds raised for research by 187%. ALS is considered a progressive disease of the nervous system that affects the brains nerve cells and spinal cord, resulting in muscle loss. ALS, in some cases, is inherited, while other causes of the diseases are not known. Inherited ALS affects 5% to 10% of the people diagnosed (Frederick, 2021). The onset of the disease begins with the twitching of muscles and weakness of a limb or slurred speech. Eventually, ALS affects the involuntary control of muscles required to facilitate breathing, eating, and breathing. Some of the symptoms of ALS are difficulty in walking and performing daily activities, inappropriately crying, yawning, and crying, and cognitive-behavioral changes as the disease progress.
The Ice Bucket Challenge resulted in global awareness of ALS. It resulted in expanding research that brought the researchers closer to diagnosing, treating, and eventually curing the disease. The cost invested in the Ice Bucket Challenge resulted in the accomplishment of...
Researchers employed the funds raised to employ new clinical trials to test potential treatments and expand the research association by 50%. The funds collected were awarded as grants to 237 scientists worldwide, building the body of knowledge about ALS genomics significantly.
The ice Bucket Challenge was started by three men living with ALS who would post videos to dump buckets of ice on themselves and call out an individual to do the same and contribute to the course. The challenge gained global traction where more than 17 million people performed the challenge and posted the video on social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube (Frederick, 2021). The videos were viewed by 400 million people more than 10 billion times. The challenge was successful in creating awareness of the challenge and raised $115 million for research.
New Zealand Health Sponsorship Council Online Anti-Smoking Challenge
The New Zealand Health Sponsorship Council Online Anti-Smoking Challenge was initiated to prevent people in the age group between 12 and 24 years from smoking and encourage the cessation of smoking (Health Sponsorship Councils, 2010). The Health Sponsorship Council (HSC) is a governmental agency that encourages New Zealanders to adopt and maintain healthy attitudes and behavior through the HSCs tobacco control program, Smoking Not Our Future. The Smoking Not Our Future program aimed to engage the audiences in online games that facilitated the audiences interaction with the message. The use of online games was preferred for the campaign since it allows the active engagement of the participants in the game and the limited spending accrued to this approach of mass awareness compared to the cost of media placement in conventional mediums (Wakefield et al., 2010). Further, games are suitable for the targeted age group, 12 24 years, that is more actively involved in online gaming.
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