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Today's #HAchat: Anonymity & Online Health Communities


Image credit: anotherphotograph on Flickr

To wrap up the month of June – and Health Technology – let’s look at where we, as humans, fit in to the technological landscape. In this week’s Health Activist Tweetchat will discuss how The Future (technological advances, social media, etc) leads to some big questions about who we are – and what we want associated with our names, our profiles, and our lives. How important is privacy? How important will it be down the line?


When first coming online as a patient or caregiver – having the ability to lurk, learn, absorb, and get to know the space – is absolutely essential. Without that orientation period – you’re going to miss out on a lot of what the online health community has to offer (and maybe make some mistakes). But, over time, as we delve deeper into the online space and what it’s like to be active online – we find our niches and can start to challenge our own comfort zones. Then, some of us feel safe to peel back the layers of our anonymity – using our real names, starting to post on our personal Facebook profiles, and being to “come out” wherever we can. How important is this journey from anonymity to “out” – and how is it going to change as technology progresses?


Join us today at 3pm ET for our Health Activist Tweetchat on the following topics:


  • Back when you started online – did you decide about how much of you that you’d share? Did you use a username/pseudonym, etc?
  • Did you become more comfortable over time? What helped you feel more comfortable online?
  • How important is having anonymity in online health communities in general?
  • How, in particular, does anonymity help/hurt your individual health community?
  • Social sign-on (Disqus, etc) starts linking your whole online persona together – how do you feel about that?
  • With certain apps, mobile, etc – GPS and certain information needs to be provided to sign up – let’s discuss.
  • What concerns you about privacy and health tech (or social media)?
  • What excites you about new technology/social?


We’ll be tweeting here http://tweetchat.com/room/HAchat# (feel free to follow along using the #HAchat hashtag, too!)


Really looking forward to what you have to say! This will be a great transition in to next week’s July theme of “Health Activism In Real Life” – where we will focus on all the ways people are getting involved in advocacy offline. (And how our online work influences offline work – and vice versa!)




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