Death by Facebook

Health advocate David Contarini shares his views on social media.

My friends are all in their 50’s. As am I.

They have friends and friends of friends who are now dying from the ‘Big Four’ –heart disease, stroke, cancer and neuro-degenerative disease.

They’re dying unexpectedly and suddenly.

Here today, gone tomorrow... well before their time and well before their prime.

I see it in their Facebook posts – recent photos of ‘Macca’, ‘Johno’ or ‘Thommo’ at the footy, fishing or tinkering with their motorbikes.

The photos hardest to see are those with their family. Big smiles, arms wide clutching their own. Family now alone and left behind.

Getting older puts us at a higher risk of these diseases, diseases which rarely knock before they enter our lives.

Diseases which burden us while we fight to defend.

In fact, the word ‘oncology’ derives from the Greek Onkos, meaning a mass, a load, a burden.

The ‘Big Four’ all need time to develop, time for our arteries to clog or cells to mutate.

And yet most of these conditions can be delayed.

Our antidote is to become aware of the habits which put us at risk, to call them out.

But instead, we worship alcohol, we eat processed and delivered-to-your-door ‘food’ and our sleep is short and interrupted.

Over time, these conditions are devastating to our health and those around us, as our Facebook feed proves.

Afterall, we are all simply flesh and blood. Biology dictates that if we can’t make healthy cells from other healthy cells, we cannot be healthy humans.

To die before our time and to self-abandon our health is one of life’s greatest tragedies, as our radius of family and friends will attest.

In middle-age, don’t be tone deaf to the risks. Take full ownership of your health so that the person in the Facebook feed lives another day.