Social media motivates better flu hygiene

Feb. 27, 2013 at 12:14 AM
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OAKLAND, Calif., Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Feeling sick doesn't keep people from logging onto social media; they visit them just as frequently if not more so than when well, a U.S. survey says.

A nationwide survey on social media behavior during flu season, sponsored by The Clorox Co., conducted by Ipsos, found 83 percent said they logged onto social media when sick for entertainment, while only 9.6 percent said they were looking for sympathy.

This year's flu season started early and has been the most severe in several years and social media feeds were full of flu comments.

The survey found seeing friends post about being sick motivated them to step up flu prevention behaviors offline. Sixty-four percent said washed their hands more frequently and 55 percent said they disinfected germ hot spots after hearing about their friends and family being sick via social media.

Three quarters of respondents were very or somewhat likely to offer sympathy, while 64 percent said they would offer advice of someone was ill.

The survey of 1,000 U.S. men and women ages 18-29, was conducted Nov. 26 to Dec. 2, and has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

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