A Caring Community

To those interested in homeopathy-

            For the past few weeks I have been following two different communities discussing the subject of homeopathy: a Yahoo Group called Homeopathy Open and the forum on the Hpathy website. I have learned so much about these communities and how societal beliefs about social media have really impacted those who are interested in this topic and therefore impacting the online communities created around it. The importance of creating a safe and supporting atmosphere can definitely be seen by the rules and guidelines set up, the mediators monitoring the posts, and the lack of anonymity. 

            I want to let you know that I have recently been introduced to the practice of homeopathy and I find it very intriguing. I am actually seriously considering becoming a homeopath as well. I have also come to face much controversy and even rejection when talking about this subject as well. This probably doesn’t surprise any of you as you have also probably encountered the same thing when trying to explain what homeopathy is or how it works. Societal views on homeopathy and other alternative medicines are not high and in a scholarly article by Erin Steuter I recently read, she was talking about how many times news media will portray homeopathy as “junk science” that is run by  “’untrained bearded maniacs’ who make ‘preposterous claims’” and anyone who is receiving this kind of treatment is suffering from “mass delusional insanity.” To read more on Steuter’s finding click the link below.

 I have come to understand how this rejection can make a person not want to talk about homeopathy very much in public. Even I have found myself being cautious about whom I choose to discuss it with for fear of not being accepted. However, through online communities I have become witness to how you are able to find a great sense of acceptance online and feel like you can share their ideas and ask questions without being considered delusional.

The very first thing that I realized about your online communities was that there was a certain sign up process that I had to go through and for the Yahoo Group I even had to request to join.  When I was accepted, I was immediately sent the email with all the rules and guidelines that must be followed and the consequences that would take place if I didn’t follow the guidelines like I should. This was very interesting to me because it showed that respect and acceptance is very important within these communities. It was also nice to see that there were mediators for the site and if a person wishes they can bring any of their concerns about what is going on in the group up with the mediators. This really keeps your group focused on only talking about homeopathy and different ways to help those in need. 

I also quickly realized how there was a lack of anonymity within your community. This I found to be surprising at first as I had known that many people choose to use false usernames when joining online groups or forums, but I can see how it really helps to improve the conversation between all the members. The fact that you feel confortable enough sharing your personal name and letting people know who you are says a lot about how the community really supports each other. It also allows for you to take ownership for your words and claim the information you are giving as your own. You are able to find a certain kind of trust between members and the conversations are always very courteous and respectful. I have been looking more into the affects of anonymity after following your communities and if you are interested you can also read about how it is good or bad in different cases by clicking on the link below.

Over all, the thing that I have realized the most is how caring you all are toward each other and towards the subject you are talking about. You are very passionate about learning about how homeopathy works and many of you who practice this bring up good questions about how you can find the best-fit remedy for a person. Some of you even share different cases. I haven’t ever posted to either of these communities but I am glad to know where I can go if I ever need to ask a question or discuss a topic within this field of study. 

Pedalling Skepticism: Media Representations of Homeopathy as ‘Junk Science’ http://bit.ly/L0ULFn

What’s in a name? Some Reflections on the Sociology of Anonymity http://bit.ly/L2fONW


Last words…

Going into this class I had no idea what it would be like.. I had never really looked at social media or the internet in general critically before, it was just something I grew up with. After taking this class, I have come to realize the many pros and cons of how our society has adapted to the inevitable advances our technology has made over the years. Our class debate last week definitely brought up good arguments for both sides as well. Even though there are some negatives to our increased internet use, our culture must grow to accept the changes.  We live in a progressive nation that does not show signs of going backwards. The internet and social media sites are here to stay. I guess one of the main things I took away from all the TED talks, articles, and my own project is that the internet really is a tool that can be used for whatever purpose one wants… from lol cats to researchers discussing the newest findings of neotic science. It isn’t mandatory but it is available to most places. It is the users choice to decide what they do online and others thoughts on what they are choosing to do are merely opinions.  




Collegiate Wrestling and Social Media

Carl- 

Great work on your presentation! I have never really seen wrestling before so it was cool that you showed us that video. Also, you did a great job of giving us a look at all the different social media sites surrounding collegiate wrestling. I found The Guillotine site the most interesting because it seems to have forums for all ages and skill level. Its cool that one online community can reach out to such a wide variety of people. 

Good job! 


Fat Acceptance and Social Media

Hey Ellie! 

Great job on your presentation! It’s really cool that there is such a supporting community around this topic. The most interesting thing that I thought you shared was the BMI project on flickr. I looked through a few of the pictures and I completely understand how the BMI measurement is completely skewed and not reliable. I also am amazed at what society considers overweight and obese and I don’t agree with it at all. How do they come up with the standards?

Good work! 


Pole Vaulting and Social Media

Aaron- 

I thought it was really cool that people would use YouTube to upload videos of their vaults to get feed back from other vaulters. I never really thought of people using YouTube in this way but I can see how it can be very effective. Great presentation! 


Peace Corps

Lydia- 

Cool Presentation! I think I’ve had some distant cousins join the Peace Corps but I was never in much contact with them.  It sounds like an amazing opportunity though. I really liked seeing the blogs that you were following and getting a small preview of what the people you have been following are doing around the world. The thing that I found most interesting was the fact that each of them had a wish list. It’s very cool that they are able to serve others around the world and still stay connected to friends and family back home. 


How I Met Your Mother

Ben-

Great presentation! I have never seen an episode but I know a few of my friends really, really enjoy the series. It’s cool that people love the show so much to form a community completely dedicated to discussing the characters and plot and sharing predictions. I assume that anyone can join in the conversation who wants to.. Do people ever get off topic and start discussing things not about HIMYM?


Young Life Leader Blogs

Swan- 

I really enjoyed your presentation! I have a few friends that go to the camps but I had never really seen what one looked like.. Very cool.  I also think its neat that there is such a community built between the leaders that work at these camps all over the country. Can only current leaders be apart of the blogs or can past leaders add some of their stories and support?