health care social media

People who candidly discuss their autoimmune diseases like Crohn’s Disease on the Web (i.e. via “Health Care Social Media”) do so to help themselves (i.e. therapeutically) or to help others. I think that’s brave, assertive and community-minded. It is that kind of “people participation” which will help Health Care Social Media change Healthcare for the better. I’m proud to be a part of that “communal effort.”

I feel like every time birth control is in the national conversation, I’m of two conflicted minds about it. I’m that woman who takes the pill primarily for medical reasons rather than birth control, and I know how much the “but medical reasons too!” argument can be used to subtly imply that “just” taking it for birth control is a less legitimate reason. And that sucks. The reason for why that sucks is pretty obvious if you use this website and follow any kind of feminist discussion on birth control, so I won’t re-hash it.

On the other hand, too often the alternative is you get weird het feminist stuff that assumes that every woman is taking it primarily as birth control that leaves women like me out of the conversation in a way that can be Not Great for our and other women’s health needs. For example, there are a lot of doctors who absolutely do not know what to do with lesbians because they assume that if you’re an adult woman who is sexually active but is not on birth control, you must be trying to conceive. But even for straight and bi women who use b.c. for health needs as well, this can lead to a flippancy about side effects because the most important thing is how well it keeps you from getting pregnant. 

This comes up a lot with the IUD, which a lot of straight women I know talk about like it is the fucking Philosopher’s Stone of birth control. That’s despite the fact that if you’re taking b.c. for medical reasons, it either doesn’t do some of the stuff that you need or can even make it worse! There’s also, I think, a potentially ableist (and probably other -ists) aspect of insisting that a method that requires someone to undergo invasive surgery, and then often a few days of severe cramping (the main reason I take the pill) afterward, is the magic method of birth control that is perfect for every woman. 

TL;DR not sure if I’m making a lot of sense, but I’m getting sick of the non-disabled straight women of my social media feeds using every fucking shitty thing the Trump administration/a GOP state government does with birth control, as an excuse to sell me on the IUD like a fucking multi-level marketer

Experimentation with Resin

I’ve decided to cast and preserve flowers in resin as part of my project. This is an image of the resin just after I have baked it. To make it clearer and to tidy the edges, I need to sand and buff it.

I like the idea of preserving and almost freezing a flower in a moment of time. The inspiration for this came from the idea of photography. When you take a picture you freeze a moment in time. However with social media and editing apps, I’ve come to realise that pictures don’t always portray a true reality. They can be distorted and manipulated into what you want to see.

This false reality can lead to a lot of mental health issues with people trying to recreate these ‘ideals’ in their own day-to-day lives. I want to look into representing growth, self care, phenomenology and preservation in my resin sculptures.

The process of resin is a very long process and there is a lot of time and patience involved. I think that the process of resin is important in what I am trying to achieve because it reflects habits of self care and love that you need to have when dealing with mental health issues and traumatic experiences.

You need to be patient with yourself, take time to care for yourself even if it can be a slow and frustrating process. Personal growth and self love isn’t going to happen over night. It takes time.

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Five You Should Know: Black Freedom Fighters

Sojourner Truth

Image: Unknown photographer, Sojourner Truth, 1864, albumen print, 3 ¼ × 2 ¼ in. (8.1 × 5.7 cm). National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

Born Isabella Baumfree, Sojourner Truth was one of the most powerful African American women’s rights activists of her time. Incensed with a need for freedom, she escaped slavery before New York’s ban in 1827. A mother to four children, she escaped with her youngest and had to leave her other children behind. Upon learning that her son had been illegally sold south, she successfully campaigned for his return, the first time an African American woman had done so. William Lloyd Garrison published her memoirs in 1850 under the title, The Narrative of Sojourner Truth: A Northern Slave.

Read an excerpt from a speech given by Truth at the Women’s Rights Convention, 1851, in Akron, Ohio:

“I want to say a few words about this matter. I am a woman’s rights. I have as much muscle as any man, and can do as much work as any man. I have plowed and reaped and husked and chopped and mowed, and can any man do more than that? I have heard much about the sexes being equal. I can carry as much as any man, and can eat as much too, if I can get it. I am as strong as any man that is now. As for intellect, all I can say is, if a woman have a pint, and a man a quart – why can’t she have her little pint full? You need not be afraid to give us our rights for fear we will take too much, – for we can’t take more than our pint’ll hold. The poor men seems to be all in confusion, and don’t know what to do. Why children, if you have woman’s rights, give it to her and you will feel better. “

William Still 

William Still was born free in 1821 and was known as the “Father of the Underground Railroad.”  Still helped over 800 people escape slavery and continue on the road to freedom. He also served as chairman of the Vigilance Committee for the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society. A meticulous recordkeeper, Still once discovered that he aided in the escape of his older brother who was left behind when his parents escaped their own bondage. Still worked with a team across New Jersey, New York, New England and Canada and even crossed paths with Harriet Tubman.

In 1872, Still published an account of his work on the Underground Railroad in The Underground Railroad Records. A leader in the community, Still also helped to establish an African American orphanage and open the first YMCA for blacks in Philadelphia.

Pauli Murray

Photo: Pauli Murray. Carolina Digital Library and Archives. “Murray, Pauli, 1910-1985.” 5 July 2007. Online image. UNC University Library. Accessed 8 April 2011.

Pauli Murray was a civil rights activist, lawyer and author who was ahead of her time. Known for her short haircut and tomboy style, Murray often passed as a teenage boy and openly flaunted her numerous relationships with women.

A staunch advocate for women’s rights, Murray coined the term “Jane Crow” in response to sex discrimination and criticized the lack of women leadership in the Civil Rights Movement. In 1966, she cofounded the National Organization for Women in a hope to pursue women’s rights.

Murray was also a lawyer active in efforts to end segregation — using her law school training to advocate for equal rights for African Americans. Her book, States’ Laws on Race and Color, was considered a bible for Civil Rights lawyers that examined and critiqued segregation laws. The book was referenced in arguments for Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, the landmark SCOTUS case that ended school segregation.

In 1977 Murray became the first African American woman to become an Episcopal Priest. Her first autobiography was published posthumously in 1987 and later released as, Pauli Murray: the Autobiography of a Black Activist, Feminist, Lawyer, Priest and Poet.

Bayard Rustin

Image: Bayard Rustin (center) speaking with (left to right) Carolyn Carter, Cecil Carter, Kurt Levister, and Kathy Ross, before demonstration / World Telegram & Sun photo by Ed Ford. Library of Congress.

“When an individual is protesting society’s refusal to acknowledge his dignity as a human being, his very act of protest confers dignity on him.” - Bayard Rustin

Bayard Rustin was active in the struggle for human rights and economic justice in the United States and around the world for over fifty years. As an activist and political organizer, Rustin played an important role in propelling the civil rights movement forward and fought tirelessly for marginalized communities. He is perhaps best known for his work organizing the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

As an openly gay African American, Rustin stood at the intersection of several fights for equal rights. During the 1980s, Rustin spoke out publicly for gay rights and worked to bring the AIDS crisis to the attention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He also continued working for economic justice.

Rustin’s long-time partner, Walter Naegle, accepted Rustin’s posthumously-awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2013.

Angela Davis 

Born in Birmingham, Alabama,  Angela Yvonne Davis, grew up witnessing racial and social injustices firsthand in her neighborhood that was known as “Dynamite Hill” – for the frequency of Ku Klux Klan bombings. During college Davis became politically active and joined both the socialist party and Black Panther Party for Self-Defense.

 In 1970 Davis was accused of being involved in a court room escape attempt by the Soledad Brothers. She went into hiding and was placed on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list until her capture in New York. As her trial approached, Davis' supporters started a successful #freeangela campaign and artists like  The Rolling Stones, John Lennon and Yoko Ono and German Franz Josef Degenhardt dedicated songs to Davis. She was acquitted of all charges in 1972 and went on to become a successful advocate for social change. 

Today, Davis remains an active and respected voice in the fight for civil and women’s rights, poverty issues and health care and prison reform. 


Written by Lanae S., Social Media Specialist, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. 

My sweet Tumblr, like all social media sometimes you just need a break. Spoons are a little low, I don’t feel well (physically or emotionally), and I need to take care of me for a bit. I’ll be gone only a few days, and to you all (though there is a special friend in particular) I hope to see that you are still here when I return


Briana 💕

How a dentist is measuring her social media ROI

First, I have to say that I love physicians, or in this case a dentist, is willing to use social media.  My biggest argument about social media is that more than likely people are already talking about you using social media tools, so why not be a part and listen to the conversations. 

Her blog shares 6 ways ( Customer Service, Information, Networking, Recruitment, Marketing and Crisis Communications) to measure social media beyond the normal number of likes.  Check out her blog here.

If the news about Fergusons or videos of riots are in any way harmful to your mental health (severe PTSD, or what have you) instead of asking people to tag things, stop going on tumblr for a while. Avoid social media outlets.

Take care of your mental health but do not try to silence this at all.

And still acknowledge everything going on, even in your absence. And refuse to be silent in the face of this adversity.