Author: Amit Khanna

How the Internet and social media can benefit healthspan and your scientific career

Aging reflects molecular changes that occur over the course of life. Our bodies react to various challenges every day. A high dose of radiation can kill you in minutes, while high fructose levels in food will negatively impact you sooner or later. How soon or late depends on your genetic background. Aging is a predictable process that can be altered by positive and negative influences. An interesting positive influence that can affect aging is social interaction. Social interaction is obviously good for your health. Before the advent of social networking, researchers reported improved healthspan in individuals with more social contact. But whether social interaction has anti-aging potential is still under question. Internet and social media are channels to communicate concerns, seek solutions, and voice opinions. In 2013, around 39% of the world’s population uses the internet, and the numbers are much higher in the developed world (77%). A standard approach to finding information about a topic usually involves internet searches. Social media platforms hosted on the internet have now become mainstream. One study reports that online social networking services are instrumental for the exchange of information between overweight patients and their healthcare providers, and that these interactions could result in superior weight-loss outcomes. The studies’ systematic review and meta-analysis of these services in modifying body mass index (BMI) found that interventions using social networking services produced a modest but...

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