Social media is breaking new ground—it is now a tool that aids in the tracking down of public health crises. Researchers can use twitter to follow the spread of disease, at a much more efficient speed than formerly used surveillance methods. Not only can researchers track the location of a trending disease, they can find out about the epicenter of an outbreak, and the rate of infection and the ways that people are responding to their ailments.
Important stuff. So, before you groan at the next litany of overly personal status updates you read, consider the super contemporary public health data making its way through the twitterverse and be glad social media exists!