On the fourth day of #NDW, I’m considering the reach of social media and the diabetes online community.

After a friend found herself stranded overseas with a malfunctioning (i.e. dead) pump, she put out a call to her online friends for help using the communication tools of the 21st century – Twitter and Facebook. In less than 24 hours (the delay was because of bloody time zones!) and after being introduced online to many DOC folks, she has, in her hands (and attached to her body) an operating pump. Social media was the vehicle and members of the DOC from all over the world got on board to help. (Interestingly, or perhaps disappointingly, the pump company proved no help at all.)

And last night, #OzDOC celebrated its second birthday in the best way – with a party-themed tweet chat that brought people together from across the globe. It was fun and frivolous with many laughs – and ’80s song quotes. And mentions of Nutella.

Yesterday, with National Diabetes Week less than half over, I was starting to feel a little burnt out. It was getting hard to see so much diabetes everywhere (says the woman with diabetes, who writes a diabetes blog, is an active member of the DOC and works for a diabetes organisation). It was hard to stay focused on the things that help and the messages that work. It was tough seeing through the murkiness of negative messages. It was getting hard to stay on message!

But thanks to last night’s chat and knowing that my friend has a working pump again, I’m hurdling the negativity and the judgement and moving on. I’m focusing on connectedness. And so – I am sending virtual jars of Nutella to everyone at last night’s chat and to the many people who joined the dots to get my friend a pump. And just like that, I’m back on message!

 

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