The role of social media (facebook) in the life of people with disabilities

Facebook is a social network that people have a close connection with each-other. According to the statistics[1], there are more than 650 million online facebook users for a month. If this amount of people gathers together, then a good atmosphere has been created to communicate here. One of the main characteristics of Facebook is to communicate with the people who live far and are not able to meet each other.

Facebook is suitable for the people with disabilities also. People with disabilities avoid communicating with people, preferring to be far away from all. Facebook creates a way of adapting them to society.

So, they meet and communicate with other disabled people here. People with disabilities think that only they have this problem. But when they see other people in a more difficult situation than them and observe their successful steps, they get motivated. The motivation leads him to success.

I contacted with several people with disabilities and asked them to share their opinion with you.

I told my friend Sulhana that I want to write about the role of facebook in the life of disabled people and she shared her opinions with me without hesitating: “Perhaps, the role of facebook in my life can seem strange to many people, but facebook has taught me to look at the future with courage. “I did not have the courage to live the life, I was just living with my past, walking cowardly in the shadow of the future. As Shakespeare has said “You are afraid of loving because you are afraid of losing”. First, I learned to post my problems on facebook. I shared my feelings and emotions with other friends. They supported and helped me with any of my problems or else were happy when I shared good news. In fact, we have own group that we have some discussions there. It makes me very happy. Before, I was thinking that I am the only person who is suffering from disability most. I saw the people with disability be able to be happy, so I have thanked God for my situation and been trying to enjoy the life. Another advantage of facebook is to be informed our voices to the relevant agencies. Moreover, we took the first step on facebook to organize meeting with Hadi Rajabli, the Chairman of the Social Policy Committee of the Parliament, on facebook.”

I am very pleased with Sulhana’s being active on facebook and her success as a friend.

The Parent Unions are operating at the UAFA CBR centres. The parents of children with disabilities come together and organize several activities to integrate their children to the society. One of these activities is to participate in public events, special days and holidays. In these events, children with disabilities demonstrate their skills they master. Shamkhal, who is suffering from autism, enjoys the services of UAFA CBR center. He is more active compared to the first periods at the centre. Once, I saw the photos of Shamkhal on facebook and I was very happy, even my eyes filled with tears. He dances and draws beautifully. He was also awarded to the 3rd place in the Republic drawing competition under the age of 18. The conversation with his mother about how social media helped him was very interesting. The mother said: “My son often uses YouTube, listens to the songs there. At the same time, Shamkhal uses facebook and twitter, shares his success. Everyone supports him. In fact, a group of youth came up to meet Shamkhal on a bus whereas we did not know the group. They said that they knew Shamkhal from facebook and were glad about his success. It made our family happy.” 

It is a very pleasant case for disabled people to communicate and make friends in social networks like facebook. But it has negative effects as it has positive ones. For example, Sulhana is feeling lonely because she has not had internet connection for 2 days. As she has been using facebook too much she got addicted to it.  It is not good to limit yourself only with facebook. It is important to make it comfortable for disabled people to use newly built buildings, public transportation, schools, universities, work places, roads and footbridges and etc.  I think, it is important for everyone to participate in the integration of disabled people to the society. We should put ourselves in their places in order to understand them. The most important feeling of people is to feel valued and necessary. It increases self-confidence and develops the spirit much faster. Don’t discriminate disabled people who are around you. It is not their choice. Don’t forget that no one is insured from disability.




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