Tag Archives: Chosen entry

Online health information: risky business or consumer wonderland?

New media has opened the information doors for healthcare. A new concept of using search engines to Organize, track, monitor and secure medical information online has been introduced. Google has recently added a feature called Google Health to their internet based service. It enables consumers to store health information online, with features such as setting personal goals, tracking progress and personalizing your health needs with applications and devices.

This idea of a “self managing citizen” discussed by Lewis (2006, 523) explores how new media has significantly shifted the healthcare industry providing many opportunities but also challenges.  The internet offer’s targeted health information which is able to target consumers as an individualized DIY subject (Lewis 2006, 522). However with consumers having access to vast amounts of online health information can lead to mixed messages regarding health advice and wrong diagnosis. As Lewis (2006, 523) discusses the possibility of an epidemic of misinformation.

The question is who is responsible when something goes wrong? It is clear there has been a shift from public responsibility to now the individual (Leong 2011). As we incorporate medicine 2.0 (Leong 2011) into our digital worlds it is important to consider what Faith Lee states consumers are now the gatekeepers of their own personal health information.

Lee, Faith. 2011. “DIY health. Are we becoming our own doctors?” Faithchantal’s Blog. Accessed April 4, 2011. http://faithchantal.wordpress.com 

Leong, Susan. 2011. “KCB: 206 New media: week 6 lecture notes.” Accessed April 4, 2011. http://blackboard.qut.edu.au/

Lewis, Tania. 2006. “Seeking health information on the internet: lifestyle choice or bad attack of cyberchondria?” Media, Culture and Society 28 (4): 521-539.

Shemissedhowhewouldkissher. 2011. “Just Breathe.” Image.  Accessed April 10, 2011. http://shemissedhowhewouldkissher.tumblr.com/post/4033352031



Filed under digital age, Google, Health, lifestyle, media lifestyle, Medicine 2.0, Online identity, Uncategorized

The realities of new media: Multiple identities.

Life is not about finding yourself it’s about creating yourself (Leong, 2011). Disregarding the hype of new media, the concept of defining and branding your identity to others has long been a traditional process. Such as choosing a career pathway and who you associate with all contribute to your identity.  

New media has however opened up vast social spaces (Deuze 2011, 139) to further expand and create identities within multiple channels. As Faith Lee (2011, 4) describes we now have the tools such as Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, Twitter to broadcast ourselves globally. Today it is common for most of us to create multiple identities across a variety of online networks (Bush 2008, 1). For example I expose and brand myself differently on Facebook compared to how I do on Linked in.

Today it is evident we can alter information about the self online. As Deuze (2011, 1) explains we are living in a reality of being cut, pasted, edited, remixed and forwarded. However connecting and branding our identities online does not conclude we are living IN a media life. This idea argued by Deuze is an extremist point of view as new media only forms an extension of the self; Media is not a part of the lived experience.

Bush, Michael. 2008. “Online identity disorder? Try OpenID.” Advertising Age 79 (11): 18. Accessed April 2, 2011 http://www.proquest.com.ezp01.library.qut.edu.au/

Courides Alex. 2011. “Creating Yourself.” Image. Accessed April 2, 2011. http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexcourides/5419869853/in/photostream/

Deuze, Mark. 2011. “Media Life.” Media, Culture & Society 33 (1): 137-148. Accessed March 31, 2011. doi: 10.1177/0163443710386518

Lee, Faith. 2011. “Branding yourself” Faithchantal’s Blog, April 3. Accessed April 3, 2011. http://faithchantal.wordpress.com/

Leong, Susan. “KCB206 New media: internet, self and beyond: Week 5 lecture notes.” Accessed March 31, 2011. http://blackboard.qut.edu.au/


Filed under digital age, media lifestyle, New media, Online identity

Word is the weapon

If there is one communication tool politics should be concerned about it would be the revolution of social media. Its power to become viral is underestimated and can generate enormous political effects. It allows citizens to become a part of a collective group equipped with data, intelligence and knowledge which can emphasise political action (Leong 2011).

Chinese governments have realised the potential of social media as they observed political leaders such as Ben Ali & Hosni Mubarak lose power recently. With social media allowing people too privately and publicly debate their views, it generates a sense of shared awareness (Shirky 2011, 25). The Jasmine Revolution is an example which explains the impact shared awareness can have on politics; evidently why China has implemented restrictions to prevent a mass political movement. 

China’s ruling communist party has been urging tighter controls on the “virtual society” aiming to guide public opinion in a “healthy direction” (Foster 2011). Restrictions have been seen on news websites, blog sites and twitter. The word “jasmine” was blocked from Sina Weibo, a  microblogging site in China. However as Walsh states political activism and social media are double-edged swords, governments are using social media tools to locate possible outbreaks. Although tech-savvy users have employed special software to circumvent web controls such as code words to spread information regarding politics online (Foster 2011).

Foster, Peter. “China facing new calls for Jasmine Revolution.” Accessed March 26, 2011. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/chine/8342414/China-facing-new-calls-for-jasmine-revolution.html

Leong, Susan. “KCB206 New Media: Internet, Self and Beyond: Week 4 lecture notes.” Accessed March 26, 2011. http://blackboard.qut.edu.au/

Shirky, Clay. 2011, “The Political Power of Social Media,” Foreign Affairs, 90 (1): 28-41. Accessed March 25  2011 . http://proquest.umi.com.ezp01.library.qut.edu.au/

Walsh, A. C. “Tweet Freedom.”  The New Neighbours Blog, March 27. Accessed March 26. http://thenewneighbours.wordpress.com/author/intheneighbourhood/ 

Leave a comment

Filed under china, jasmine revolution, politics, Uncategorized