Logo caringbridge

back to Additional Resources

What is the source?Edit

CaringBridge provides free websites that connect people experiencing a significant health challenge to family and friends, making each health journey easier. The websites offer a personal and private space to communicate and show support, saving time and emotional energy when health matters most.

Jack Jablonski's Caringbridge page was created on December 31, 2011 when the sixteen year old hockey player suffered a severe spinal cord injury during a JV hockey game in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. He underwent surgery to fuse two of his vertebrae and was declared paralyzed.

Who is the intended audience for the source?Edit

The intended audience for the source ranges from Jack's friends and family, to thousands of strangers, celebrities, professional athletes, and members of the hockey community. Since its creation, the site has had over 500,000 visits.

What does the source demonstrate about cyberculture? What are the major themes/ideas that this source typifies, demonstrates, or explains?Edit

This source demonstrates the power of communication in cyberspace. As December points out in his article, the Internet can be argued as primarly a communication tool . Traditionally, people with health concerns updated their friends and family one-by-one either on the phone or via snail mail. This process was tedious and distracted caregivers from their sick loved ones.

With the Internet, one update on Caringbridge could inform thousands of concerned individuals, families, teams, or friend groups. Additionally, this website has allowed friends of Jack's family to organize extensive efforts to provide for the family during their journey with food, transportation, time, and financial support.

I think the Caringbridge website effectively demonstrates the four traits of cyberspace that Gurak points out in her second chapter: speed, reach, anonymity, and interactivity. The website is able to effectively communicate Jack's progress with one click of the send button, reach those who have heard his story, allow strangers to show their support, and build an interactive community that supports Jack.

Why did you choose to share this source with us?Edit

I chose to share this site because I have stayed up to date with Jack's progress for the entirety of the class and found it relevant to our discussions on cyberspace. The site shows an uplifiting side of the Internet, and also ways it can bring the hockey and Minnesota communities together around tragedy.