Get Well

The Health Hazards of Facebook

by Claire McFarland, blogger

It seems like a harmless daily task that most of the world has turned to on a daily basis to catch up with friends, send invitations and find out what’s happening in the world. Although the Web site may seem harmless, recent studies at Harvard Law School have proven otherwise. View the following concerns to keep you happy, healthy and still socially involved:

Health Updates

Researchers at the Cyblerlaw Clinic at Harvard Law school has published information about a case concerning a middle aged woman at IMB who posted pictures of herself laughing and carrying on with a group of friends. This may seem like a trivial daily task; however, the woman posting had been on medical leave at her company and caused havoc with her insurance company. Soon after her posts, she was cut off by disability insurance, which put her job in jeopardy. Monitoring the posts you make on a daily basis can not only protect you personally, for potentially employers and family members, but also impact your health benefits and coverage. The next time you think of lighting a smoke in a Facebook picture, toasting a Keystone or hopping around town while on disability, think twice about the possible consequences.


As the health care proxy has changed in the last few years, insurance companies are cracking down on the benefits they provide to people. In the last year or so, several private investigators have been hired by a variety of insurance coverers who follow individuals that claim severe depression. By following individuals on social media sites, such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, investigators have been able to disprove these claims, resulting in insurance companies dropping these benefits. If you are entering into the work environment and have your own insurance, be leery of the information you put into the endless social network that exists on many platforms today.


In addition to the health hazards intertwined with Facebook posts, there have recently been many studies conducted, scholarly books and articles written as well as spoken seminars covering the topic of cyber bullying. Posting a great deal of information on a regular basis puts individuals at a greater risk for cyber bullying. However, that is not only the case. It is important to note the information that you share with the world, as even though there are many privacy settings available through these websites, people from all walks of life are still able to track down specific information about a member and backlash at them as a result.

To keep your self-esteem high and to protect yourself from this type of abuse, make sure your privacy settings are tight. Although it may be difficult, try to limit the amount of posts you make public and be sure to review their content. The Internet and social media are wonderful things that provide endless opportunity, but also come with severe consequences. So the next time you log in, think before you blog, Tweet or post.