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“We are affected not only by the health and behavior of our partners and friends, but also by the health and behavior of hundreds or thousands of people in our extended social network.” So if you’re inside a network that’s purely focused on a chronic disease such as diabetes or perhaps late stage breast cancer, how is your health affected?Researchers at UC San Diego have looked into whether posts within these common interest sites influence surgical decisions.“In Rooms you can be ‘Wonder Woman’–or whatever name makes you feel most comfortable and proud,” writes the Rooms development team in their inaugural blog post.That anonymity–something Facebook has generally avoided–is part of the appeal, experts say.Apps and services that allow users to real-time chat are experiencing a kind of renaissance, with the likes of Banter, Rooms, and Hip Chat muscling in on email and text messaging.
And Stewart Butterfield, the CEO and cofounder of Slack, says this trend is a matter of course.“It took many years to get this many people online and comfortable with online interaction,” Butterfield said.
Sixteen percent of adults have gone online to find others who share the same health concerns.
When like-minded users come together online, they often form virtual health communities in which they share intimate details of their diagnoses, treatments and coping mechanisms.
She’s toned down her Facebook use and migrated to anonymous apps like Banter, which allows users to chat with others nearby.“Social media built great roads and connections to people’s lives,” Powell said. But somewhere along the line, it broke down our carefully constructed boundaries.”To entice users like Powell, newer services have crafted their entire platforms around preserving these boundaries.
And the in-beta service Tags Chat hopes to be in the vanguard.