Health Scares in the News Part 6

It used to be that malware was the only electronically transmitted disease you had to worry about when you went online. However, it appears that the human/machine interface is now evolving in unexpected ways. According to Discovery Channel writer Eric Niiler, you can actually get sick via social networking.

A dozen girls in a small town in New York State have all been diagnosed with a strange disorder that causes uncontrollable twitching. The girls run in the same circles on sites like FaceBook. Many have described their symptoms in detail online and some have even posted videos of themselves displaying their ticks for others to see. Although doctors say the symptoms are real and require treatment, they also point out that the disorder is psychogenic in nature. In other words, it’s being triggered by anxiety coupled with the normal human tendency to unconsciously mimic behaviors we see in others.

This is an ideal example of the harm health scares can do to someone with a suggestible mind. The suffering these girls are going through is very real – and completely unnecessary. At bottom, perhaps we are all wired to be hypochondriacs.

Tags: Health and Beauty