I’ve talked many times about how much I love the Diabetes Online Community. However, I should amend that statement to talk about how much I love the people that write blogs, read my blog and converse on Twitter. I love my Wednesday night #DSMA chats (although I’ve been a little absent lately-check out Kerri’s blog post on DSMA). I love all the comments I receive on my blog. I love reading other people’s blogs and finding out how they did on a recent race or how their pregnancy is progressing along with diabetes or the latest diabetes device review or diabetes study they were a part of.
Social media with diabetes is tricky. For the longest time, I kept my diabetes community to those two outlets-blogs and Twitter. It was just recently that I started to get into Facebook related diabetes groups. I still keep my Facebook personal and not too diabetes focused (except for my Below-Seven Facebook page) but I have joined several diabetes Facebook groups. I must admit that when I joined my first one, I was very disappointed.
I won’t tell you the first diabetes group I joined, but the people were so mean in it. It seemed like every day people would post something that would annoy someone and someone would make a mean comment about it. I admit, some of the posts annoyed me too but I just chose to overlook it. Some people would post questions or photos that would elicit mean responses. It was a very destructive community and I was upset that there are people like that in the world. Maybe I was lucky that I started with Twitter, but I feel like the DOC on Twitter, is a very supportive group. I was also shocked at some of the questions people were asking. Shocked because I can’t believe their doctors didn’t educate them better. This makes me think that it’s hard to break down the stereotypes of diabetes when people that actually have diabetes don’t know any better because they themselves haven’t been educated.
However, since joining that first group, I have found a few other groups and they are a lot “better” (meaning not rude, unsupportive, etc). I joined a few diabetes and pregnancy/motherhood groups and they have been so great. The community is very supportive and people are mainly just posting questions they might have versus posting unnecessary posts that might upset others. These groups have also been a great resource to know what to expect and when, such as complications, birthing stories, when insulin resistance started, etc. I also joined a few diabetes groups for active people and they have also been encouraging. I can’t wait to get back to training for a race after reading their great comments and support.
Maybe it’s the Pollyanna in me, but I just don’t understand why some people would be so hurtful to a group of people they don’t know. If you are annoyed by something, maybe it isn’t the right group for you. As I said above, I have been annoyed at some of the posts but I just try to move on from it, unless it really annoys me then I will leave the group. We have enough to deal with when it comes to this disease that I don’t think we should have to also deal with unnecessary drama.
I actually removed myself from the first group because I was fed up with how unsupportive it was and now I just have supportive diabetes groups on Facebook that I love. Combine that with the great community I have found on Twitter and I couldn’t imagine my life without the great support I have now thanks to you all! I love how Twitter connects me with all different types of diabetics. I get so much great information and perspectives from the different types of people I follow on Twitter. I also love how I can join groups on Facebook that are a little more specific to my life, like the athletic groups or pregnancy groups. These groups provide a great outlet to get specific questions answered or to hear about other people’s experiences. I hope everyone is able to find a great support system through social media like I have.
Also, if you haven’t seen this video yet, please check out fellow blogger Kim Vlasniks’ video on the DOC. It really touches on the feelings that I have toward the community: