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What Are Carefluencers?

2 min read

The world of social media influencers, once dominated by fashion and beauty trends, is evolving to encompass a wider range of experiences. One growing trend is the rise of carefluencers. 

Coined by researchers at the University of Southern California, the term refers to individuals who use social media to share their experiences as caregivers for elderly loved ones and highlights a shift in how caregiving is portrayed online

Instead of focusing solely on medical aspects, carefluencers offer a glimpse into the day-to-day realities of caring for someone – the joys, challenges, and everything in between helping raise awareness about the often-invisible world of caregiving and the dedication it requires.

But alongside the undeniable benefits of shared experiences, there’s a growing unease. Caregiving is a deeply personal, often messy experience. Can the carefully curated online persona truly reflect the emotional toll and the complexities of caring for a loved one?

There’s a danger in portraying caregiving as a competition of strength and positivity. The pressure to present a brave face online can leave caregivers feeling like failures when their reality doesn’t match the picture-perfect narrative. Furthermore, the focus on emotional resilience can overshadow the very real systemic issues that caregivers grapple with – lack of support, access to resources, and financial strain.

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On the other hand, the carefluencer movement may offer a refreshing perspective on caregiving. By sharing their journeys, these social media stars are fostering a sense of connection, offering support, and ultimately, helping to normalize a demanding but rewarding experience. But don’t you think sharing personal experiences online should come with boundaries? Don’t you think they should ensure to have their loved one’s consent before posting content?

Also, carefluencers are not medical professionals and their advice should not be taken as such.  Some of them may also be sponsored by pharmaceutical companies or other healthcare providers. This can create a conflict of interest and make it difficult to know whether their advice is impartial.

Don’t get me wrong, sharing their experiences online can help break down stigmas, but still, I would prefer to keep advocating for better support systems and celebrating the quiet strength of caregivers everywhere.

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