That's a good point. We worry about Facebook and other social media privacy policies, and we're right to do so. However, the far greater threat (if threat is the right word) is that if three or more people know a secret, it's extremely likely that at least one will spill it. Often innocently or well-meaningly. That's true whether the communication channel is Facebook, or old-fashioned face-to-face conversation.
We are all members of a closed group on Facebook (we were already part of this group for the softball team), which helps. The mom asked people not to post specific info on their personal websites -- although one of the girls did say something on Tumblr, alerting everyone in the entire middle school. They'd have known anyway, but a teacher had planned to break the news more gently than via an online post. Secrets get spilled anyway -- and as we all remember, no doubt, teens can spread a secret in no time flat, with or without smartphones or social media!
As to the hospital, it obviously has wifi for patients and visitors, at least in the two visiting areas of this particular floor. And I believe there is wifi in the rooms, too, as I know this girl has been using her mom's iPad to watch movies.
Alison - It would be interesting to see if there are any formal programs in place to connect patients with social media.
This is an area where Facebook and other social media's privacy problems really become difficult. I'm willing to live with the assumption that I have zero privacy on the internet. But someone dealing with a critical illness needs to be able to communicate with a relatively large number of friends and family. Social media would be ideally suited to that kind of thing -- but you need ironclad assurances of privacy protection.
The friend is doing okay, although she recently had to return to the hospital (and is still there) after she was released but apparently overdid it and got a fever after coming into contact with someone who had a bug, the flu, or a cold. My daughter is handling it okay and so, it seems, are the rest of the group of friends. I think the girl's return to the hospital was a shock to all of them. The friend seemed so fine, really, other than some bags under her eyes, that it was easy for the kids to think she was okay really. Social media has truly turned out to be a winning tool in this situation, preventing the patient from feeling isolated and alone -- which would only make her depressed and make her battle that much harder. Hopefully the healthcare profession in general realizes the power of social media and encourages other patients to use this tool to keep up with their friends when people are getting over all sorts of illnesses.
Alison, thanks for this inspiring and personal video. How is your daughter's friend doing?
And how is your daughter doing? When you first told me about this, my first thought was, "This is hard to go through at that age." Then I thought, "This is hard to go through at ANY age -- I don't think we're any better prepared for that kind of thing as adults than we are as teen-agers." And it sounds like your daughter is being a great friend.
Facebook's Graph Search may face some profound challenges and risks, first, because Facebook users haven't been thinking of their posts as product reviews; and second, because Facebook will now have to contend with the social-network equivalent of SEO "gaming" of results.
A recent release of the popular TweetDeck app for Twitter power-users gives new life to software that had previously taken a wrong turn. Here's a quick walk-through of the new TweetDeck, to show you why it should be at the top of your Twitter toolkit.
Twitter's changes are clearly aimed at being more Facebook-like, and this is because both companies are vying to serve the mobile social network market. But can that market work for anybody, given how difficult it is to push ads to social-update readers?
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