The social network space for people with diabetes lags well behind the Internet’s superb ability to provide information. Websites like HealthCentral far exceed the older sources of information that we have — including our health care teams, our books, and our magazines — in the quantity and often even the quality of information that we seek about diabetes.
But the Internet hasn’t been doing a good job in connecting the real people who have diabetes with other real people. Those of us who have diabetes often feel isolated from our communities because of the special need we have to control our condition. Many of us, particularly those who live in small towns or rural areas, don’t have anyone with whom to discuss our dietary, activity, and medication requirements.
Local support groups often fail to provide positive reinforcement when they exist at all. Many of us in fact lack that option within a reasonable driving distance.
Support and communication are functions that the Internet can provide to people with diabetes on a much larger scale than even the best local support groups. But even the so-called social networking sites are instead top heavy on information.