The tinkering m-patient: Co-constructing knowledge on how to live with type 1 diabetes through Facebook searching and sharing and offline tinkering with self-care

Health (London). 2020 Mar;24(2):152-168. doi: 10.1177/1363459318800140. Epub 2018 Sep 12.


Danish adults with type 1 diabetes value peer-to-peer interaction through the social media platform Facebook as a way to quickly exchange knowledge on essential everyday self-care for chronic illness. In this praxiographic study, following informants into online and offline social dimensions, I explore how they use Facebook to exchange self-care knowledge based on practical experiments and negotiations between bodies, technologies and daily lives. When in doubt about how to self-care on a daily basis, Danish adults with type 1 diabetes look to Facebook for inspiration and peer support. A synergistic process of online searching and sharing and offline tinkering with self-care generates person-centred knowledge about how to live with illness that is situated to individual needs and unique daily lives. Facebook can be viewed as an emergent space for biosociality through which knowledge about how to self-care become co-constructed by peers based on their pragmatic experiences of self-care on a daily and ongoing basis.

Keywords: facebook; online biosociality; patient knowledge; praxiography; tinkering; type 1 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't