Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Social Media and Your Health: How Much Do You Share?

By Sona Mehring

Woman Using Computer

There’s no doubt that social media has changed the way that people manage illness. Everyone approaches social media and social networks in their own way. Some join a lot of communities and share details about their health freely. Others like to share only with certain communities,. while some choose not to share at all, but instead search online conversations for information that might relate to their condition.

Melissa Hogan, a caregiver to her five-year-old son who suffers from a rare disease called Hunter Syndrome, is an example of someone who sees social networks as a tool to help her be an advocate, raise awareness, raise funds, and help families.

Melissa connected with other parents in an online forum, used CaringBridge to connect with family and friends, and has created Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest pages about their experience in a clinical trial.

I’ll be sharing stories like Melissa’s at a health care social media conference this month, where I will be participating in a panel discussion on the benefits of social networks to patients, physicians and caregivers. I’ll be joined by distinguished panelists from Inspire, which builds online health and wellness communities for patients and caregivers and connects them to life science professionals, and EmpowerHER which provides women’s health and wellness content and is the largest online community of women discussing their health.

We are tasked with showing doctors how social networks can improve their patients’ quality of life and healing process, as well as how caregivers can benefit. We will also discuss what kind of information patients look for online and what doctors can learn from online patient communities.

So, as I prepare to share stories from the front lines of social media, I thought I’d ask the WebMD audience: How are you using social networks to talk about health? Do you have any advice that I should share with the doctors who will be attending this conference?

Sona Mehring is the founder and CEO of CaringBridge, a nonprofit offering many ways for people to care for each other during any type of health event. CaringBridge offers personal Sites, a SupportPlanner and an online volunteer community, the Amplifier Hub. Follow Sona on Twitter – @gogosona.

Photo: Stockbyte

The opinions expressed in WebMD Second Opinion are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. Second Opinion are... Expand


Subscribe to free WebMD newsletters.

  • WebMD Daily

    WebMD Daily

    Subscribe to the WebMD Daily, and you'll get today's top health news and trending topics, and the latest and best information from WebMD.

  • Men's Health

    Men's Health

    Subscribe to the Men's Health newsletter for the latest on disease prevention, fitness, sex, nutrition, and more from WebMD.

  • Women's Health

    Women's Health

    Subscribe to the Women's Health newsletter for the latest on disease prevention, fitness, sex, diet, anti-aging, and more from WebMD.

By clicking Submit, I agree to the WebMD Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of WebMD subscriptions at any time.

URAC: Accredited Health Web Site TRUSTe online privacy certification HONcode Seal AdChoices