Sandra Rosenbluth, MS
What is your interest in social media and health? Why do you think this work is important?
Social media is fascinating to me because of the way it allows people to connect and information to spread, but can also be quite intimidating, too. It’s a big digital world out there, but I embrace the potential to educate, enact behavior change, and frankly be fun and engaging. I love the idea that people who maybe previously felt alone or ashamed of their health issues have a means to connect with others in a similar situation, to both find support, information, and to reduce societal stigmas.
Where did you do your training?
Though of course some of my experience comes from a personal standpoint - growing up during my college years with Facebook - I really embraced the implications of social media’s power to shape larger public health issues when I was in my Nutrition Communication Master's Program at Tufts University Friedman School. Furthermore, my coursework through the Digital Health Communication certificate program at Tufts School of Medicine (where I now teach a course) really nailed down the importance of taking a strategic stance when approaching health through social media. The breadth of work I have taken on since my graduation has really seeded my interest in a multitude of health problems, including nutrition and exercise, cancer, veteran health, mental health, and more.
What are your preferred social media platforms?
I think intention is really important when considering social media platforms. As someone who really grew up with Facebook, it’s hard to let it go - and with good reason. Though lacking in growth, it is still the most used platform to this day. That said, I really enjoy the potential of platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and Reddit to reach diverse audiences in unexpected ways. I look forward to the challenge of using less conventional spaces to engage people, and it's really interesting to see the unique culture that develops within users of each individual platform.
What’s a recent social media success?
My favorite social media success is actually a success shared with Lisa Gualtieri. It’s always really exciting to have big influencers promote your work. As dual promotion for both our nonprofit, RecycleHealth, and the 2016 Movie, “Patriot’s Day,” Mark Wahlberg tweeted about being physically active and #BostonStrong, suggesting followers donate to our cause. It was a monumental moment for us.