Type 1 Diabetes Twitter Communities

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An important component of studying chronic illness communities is understanding how they seek social support. Traditionally, this support has come from family, friends, or others nearby with their condition. However, it may be difficult to find those with similar experiences, and children with chronic illness tend to feel more isolated than their peers. Social media has opened up a whole new world for chronic illness communities where people can connect with others across the world who share the same experience they do. The purpose of our study is to explore Type I diabetes communities on Twitter to gain a better understanding of what topics are being talked about, what types of people are active community member, and whether connections between people are associated with their roles in the community and/or the subject matter of their tweets.

Cianna Bedford-Petersen is a personality psychologist interested in online social networks, data visualization, and open science