How to Reach Out to People Globally Using Social Networking Sites

During the explosion of the Internet, it was clear to all that one of the main benefits of this new channel would be for people to connect and communicate with one another on a global scale. The Internet is a useful source of information but in much more recent times, we have seen the Internet develop into a source where information is much more tailored to the user, and it was here where social networking was born.

Social networking site like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter have taken off and have become a part of our everyday life. Facebook and Twitter connect us to our friends, while LinkedIn connects us to our professional colleagues. However what site connects us to our health?

Computer savvy disease and illness sufferers use many forms of online communication, and these range from e-mail, medical blogs, live health chat, wikis and other collaborative technologies. These platforms of communication can help elevate overworked health centres, which often people avoid as they are just that, busy and overworked. This is not to say that disease and illness sufferers should not visit their health centre or medical practitioners, ideally it would be the first port of call, but it's not anymore, the internet and social networking sites is now the first port of call.

The Internet and social networking sites continues to allow people the freedom to examine themselves, use the internet as a medical dictionary or a symptom checker, and share their experiences, and their treatments with others in a supportive health community.

Given the immense activity seen in social networking sites, it can be seen that honesty is taken at face value, where accomplishments, photos and updates can not be fully verified. Within the world of social networking, there are no system fact checkers. So are people more honest or dishonest when it comes to revealing things about themselves on social networks, particularly online health communities?

Online health communities can offer great benefits to disease and illness sufferers. Online health communities offer great advantage of instant information exchange that is not always obtained in real life discussion. Disease and illness sufferers can also engage in many activities from their own personal space of their homes. People within online communities also have access to many discussion groups, specifically chosen by the individual, where they can access relevant information within their health community. Another benefit is that online health communities can give disease and illness sufferers a feeling of belonging and closure, giving and receiving community support.