Seeking Support Online | Shift - Living in the Digital Age | DW | 27.01.2014
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Seeking Support Online

More and more people post on social media platforms about their struggles with life-threatening diseases. Often they reveal a great deal of personal information in the process. Although online posting can be a source of support for patients, it can also have negative consequences.

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Nadine Weiskircher is a 27-year-old university student and posts on Twitter. When she was diagnosed with lymphoma, she told her followers that, too. Since then, she’s posted about hospital stays, treatment details, and how she’s coping. The support she gets from her online friends has become a lifeline. Kai Sostmann, a physician at the Charité hospital in Berlin and expert in online communities, says this online community can be very valuable but he also worries about issues of privacy.