• Home
  • News
  • 4 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Take Health Advice From Someone On Social Media
4 questions to ask yourself before you take health advice from someone on social media
4 questions to ask yourself before you take health advice from someone on social media

4 questions to ask yourself before you take health advice from someone on social media

Tuesday, February 20, 2024


Social media is a great way to stay connected to loved ones, learn new things and engage in our interests. It can also be a huge source of misinformation, especially for health and wellness topics.  

A study featured in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found that health misinformation on social media is generally linked to the following six domains: (1) vaccines, (2) diets and eating disorders, (3) drugs and new tobacco products, (4) pandemics and communicable diseases, (5) noncommunicable diseases and (6) medical treatments and health interventions. 

There isn’t anything wrong with watching or reading about others’ health experiences or recommendations. In fact, this can give us great ideas and questions to bring to our doctor and help us feel less alone in our health and wellness journeys. 

However, health advice on social media should only serve as a starting point for further discussion or exploration – not as an official diagnosis, instant answer to your question or solution to your problem.  

Next time you watch a video or read a post from someone sharing health or wellness information, ask yourself these four questions: 

1. Are they a licensed or credentialed professional? 

Especially when it comes to medical advice, check to see if they are a licensed professional. They will likely have their credentials listed on their profile. Once you identify which licenses and credentials they hold, you can verify them online.  

2. Are they promising a quick fix? 

We’ve all heard the expression, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” This also applies to anything you see on social media. If someone promises you incredible results by doing “just one thing,” just one workout, just one supplement, just one change to your diet, it’s worth researching a little more closely. 

3. Are they trying to sell you something? 

Many people use social media to build their businesses. If they are trying to sell their health-related services, products, or plans, they will naturally be more biased in their posts and videos. Make sure to do your research on their claims, especially before you make a purchase. 

4. Is their advice one-size-fits-all? 

Each of us has a unique health history. That means each of us has different needs and responses. Without your entire health history, even a professional cannot accurately diagnose you. If someone is just sharing their personal success story, keep in mind that just because something works for them doesn’t mean it will work for you. 

Even after asking yourself these questions, checking with your primary care provider is the best way to ensure the advice you are receiving is legitimate and safe. 


Ready to get healthy?

Sign up for our digital newsletter to receive health tips, recipes, success stories for inspiration and information about new doctors to help you on your journey to better health.


Genesis HealthCare System’s Health and Wellness content conveniently provides accurate and helpful information. Your health history and current health may impact suggestions provided through our Health and Wellness content. Although we hope this information is helpful, it is not a substitute for your doctor's medical advice. Before making any significant changes, please consult your doctor.