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Eating for Health

New Social Network Aims To Help 40 Million Americans

Mon, 19 Mar 2012 13:02:44 EST

AnxietySocialNet (ASN) is a unique example of growing niche social networks. However, it goes beyond the trends by also acting as a strong support system. It takes out the impersonality of the more general social networks and focuses on making a safe and comfortable environment to nurture a community of those experiencing anxiety and seeking help.

'I am on Facebook and twitter as well, but I feel so much safer here, because I know people understand, and I don't have to go into depth about what I am going through, everyone already knows this reduces the stress level.' ~Mary Jones ASN user.

ASN has the potential to impact a large percentage of the population, a part of the population that usually does not get the help they need. The common anxiety sufferer is under a great deal of stress by not wanting to share his/her feelings and experiences on such a widespread and public social network site, like Facebook. The fear of being judged by friends and family stops such people from sharing their inner concerns and asking for help. ASN provides such people with a safe environment for socializing online, learning from others, and ultimately seeking help.

Some people say Facebook is the entire social media solution anyone would ever need; this is far from the truth. While there is no 'replacing' Facebook, there is a growing trend towards the interest based networks. In all their popularity, the 'general' social networks are not always able to deeply fulfill their interest based needs of the users. In particular, when it comes to health and sensitive personal topics, such general social networks miss the mark entirely. They are too public and at times, impersonal.

ASN is a site built for and by anxiety sufferers. One prime example is the "Emotional Chart," which asks users to evaluate their mood based upon 3 questions that are scaled between 1 and 10. The results from this short questionnaire are published to the site wall. Members can easily identify when another member is feeling down and can promptly respond to them in an encouraging and supportive way via personal message or live chat.

Privacy, comfort, anxiety information and an instant sense of understanding set ASN apart from other social networks and online anxiety forums.

ASN looks to be a promising new social network for those sincerely looking for a comfortable, private, and helpful environment.  ASN could represent the next step in helping to manage and treat anxiety disorders.

Source: NIMH


Source: WebWire



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