Hopkins Global Health Now Op-Ed: The New Norm of “Constancy” and Global Public Health
In the age of technology, the constant availability of information affects human interactions, social interactions and health behaviors, Borzekowski wrote. It’s no longer feasible to track the consumption, content and context of media, and it’s practically impossible to quantify the amount of media that people consume or understand where and when they are exposed to communication.
But, Borzekowski says that health professionals and researchers can use this new norm to their advantage.
“In the new norm of constancy, initiatives can reach individuals as often as necessary, with personalized messages, any time of day or night, in any location,” Borzekowski wrote. “Barriers no longer exist.”
Borzekowski calls cellphones a “public health tool.”
For example, with cellphones, studies can more easily collect data on things like frequency of social interactions, or exposure to environmental irritants. And with the help of technology, it is easier to collect and transmit population data in real-time.
“Available technology can help individuals and communities improve health behaviors,” Borzekoski wrote. “The challenge is to understand if, when, and how digital media are being used and messages are being communicated.”
Dina Borzekowski, studies the impact of media on the health and development of children and adolescents. Her most recent paper, "Constancy (the New Media “C”) and Future Generations," she introduces the concept of “constancy”—the idea that media use is now a pervasive, continuous part of our lives—and particularly of today’s children and adolescents.