Saturday, October 20, 2007

Social Media at the CDC- What is health?

Health is defined as freedom from physical disease. But, many think of it as being a state of physical, mental and social well being. Living a productive life is important when being "healthy."

So what influences health? Our genes, environment, opportunities (Is it safe to do physical activity outdoors? Can you afford healthy food?) and behaviors (our every day decisions.) Dr. Berndhart says that social media has a great potential to influence behavior. Small every day decisions add up and affect our lives, and we don't even think about it. Social media can help, but health behaviors are hard to change!

Actually, social media can revolutionize, not just impact, health.

Dr. Berndhart considers the differences between traditional and social media -- social media is horizontal, while traditional media is vertical.

How does the CDC get messages in your head so you will remember them at the right moments?Social media can make these messages much more individualized, make it more ubiquitous and make it more relevant. They have to find the right balance between push and pull messages.

According to Dr. Berndhart, social media must be:


1.) Engaging
2.) Emotional
3.) Entertaining

It also must cross the "digital divide."

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