The spread of information on addiction has ranged from word of mouth to written words and now to the internet. The internet has become everyone’s favorite method of circulating information, moving at the speed of a mouse click and right at your fingertips. Of all the channels and mediums on the internet, social media is the most active. Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and Pinterest are some of the most trafficked that exist. This is why information on addiction that is circulated through social media is particularly critical to the mainstream understanding of what addiction is and how to approach it.
First of all, social media offers a faster exchange of ideas than any other information sharing medium. The volume of people that use social media sites is astounding, making up 74-percent of all internet users. Whole societies are online using social media. When information on addiction becomes popular on social media and is exchanged between millions of internet users, it is making the biggest impression on the public that addiction information can make.
The breadth of the how far information travels on social media over time is remarkable. Articles and pictures go global in minutes, and over time the information and images are available in virtually every nation on earth. Social media has a wider reach than every other type of website. The average person may not want to spend time doing research online, but they do want online community and will be exposed to more ideas and facts on addiction than in any other medium.
The importance of this circulation on addiction is the public discourse that takes place as a result of it. Addiction is a largely misunderstood thing that people stigmatize and judge constantly. There is a dire need for discourse and sharing of ideas on addiction so that our culture will learn to approach it more respectfully, in a supportive manner rather than a condemning manner. Social media can help with that effort tremendously.