Guest blog by Emily Davison – author of the blog Fashioneyesta.
Social media, it seems to be taking over the world these days. It dominates many news stories and it’s a key way that people find out news on current affairs, their favoured celebrities and share news on their own lives. With there being so many apps created to allow people to network and share their lives with the world, some may ask ‘why?’ and ‘what’s the point of it all?’
Allow me to introduce myself; my name is Emily Davison, although in the cyber world I’m more commonly known as Fashioneyesta. I’m the creator of the blog fashioneyesta.com and a YouTube channel in which I talk fashion, beauty, lifestyle and living with a rare disability which affects both my sight and endocrine system. I’m also the joint creator of Podcast channel Fashionability, a podcast about making fashion and beauty accessible for those with disabilities. I’m also a journalist and disability rights campaigner. It’s safe to say that I spend a large portion of my time on social media creating content, promoting it, replying to messages and just being a presence online. Even my little guide dog has her own Twitter and Facebook Page.
There are so many benefits to joining the world of social media, something I have discovered since starting my blog in 2012. I think social media holds a lot of power and promise for people with disabilities as a platform to have their voices heard and form an online community to impact change and make a difference. So, today I am going to be talking to you about some of the best aspects of social media if you have a disability.
Sharing your stories and hearing others
Social media is essentially how the world stays connected with life in an online form. So, you too can become a link in this great online chain of experiences and accounts. One of the things that make living with a disability easier is to have a place to share your experiences, vent your frustrations and document your life. But, it’s also a place where you can discover other people’s perspectives with different disabilities.
Meeting like minded people who can relate to your experience
For me, one of the most positive aspects of being a blogger over the past four years is the online community I have discovered and the wonderful friendships I have gained. Through my blog and online work I have come across so many people from not just the disability community, but readers and supporters of my work with very different experiences who I truly value and love.
Something I have loved through making videos and writing blogs on living with Septo Optic Dysplasia, which is the name of my condition, is the fact that I’ve met so many people with the same condition as myself. It is such a comforting feeling to know that there are others in the same position as you and to know you are not alone.
Spreading the word about disability in a new way
With social media, you have the ability to be as creative as you want. So, if you want to say something about disability, if you want to change a stereotype or make people see you differently then you can do it in a creative way. Whether you want to make a YouTube video, write a blog or share a Gif on twitter it’s up to you. But, with social media it has the potential to circulate far and wide and receive a massive response if you strike a core with people and it’s new and dynamic.
Having your voice heard
Of course with social media, one of the things it gives you is a voice. When you join social media you instantly have a platform to speak. Naturally you have to follow the guidelines of the platform you are on, keep it friendly, positive, non derogatory and don’t make any hateful comments. If your local chain food store is inaccessible, use social media to share this with the company. If you want to share your thoughts on an article or a news piece that talks about disability, use social media.
Knowing about the latest news in disability
As a journalist, blogger and podcast presenter the place where I find most of my leads, stories and inspiration is online. When I want to connect with people, find a new story to run on my podcast or my Huffington Post column I get my fingers poised over the keypad and go online exploring. You can do the same thing too, if you want to find out about current affairs in the world and how it is affecting people with disabilities, that is where social media comes in.
Get involved with new campaigns
In these modern times a lot of charities, companies and organisations run campaigns on social media. Social media is key if you want to get involved with campaigns and share your thoughts to support these campaigns. Lots of campaigns call on you to send in your thoughts, tweet pictures, create content and so on.
Challenging the myth that people with disabilities don’t have fun or a life
Oh believe me, I have come across people who are under the belief that people with disabilities don’t have fun, jobs, a social life, relationship, hobbies or interests. So, social media can be the place where you dispel those myths by posting pictures of you enjoying yourself, hanging out with friends, partaking in your hobby and living your life.
So, that concludes this guest blog, I hope you liked it and that I have inspired you to join the ranks of social media. Come and join us!
Do be sure to come and find me on my social media via the links below.
Thanks for reading!
YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/fashioneyesta
Second Channel: www.youtube.com/channel/UCX-t0TXzskGxFvNlzPT1DaA
Podcast Channel: www.fashionabilitychannel.com