When I first started this blog a few months ago, I felt rather lost. I’d had Twitter for some time, although I thought it was absolutely stupid. I didn’t really see the point of following people I didn’t know. I felt so out of place trying to find diabetes stuff to tweet, which at the time didn’t sound even remotely interesting. And I felt like a desperate idiot tweeting my blog posts with every popular hashtag that I could think of.
Then one day, I stumbled upon somebody’s retweet from this Twitter account called the Oz Diabetes Online Community. It’s a Twitter chat for people with or affected by diabetes here in Australia. For one hour every Tuesday night, we introduce ourselves and answer a series of questions around a set topic of the week. We’ve talked about things like germs, exercise, team work, a cure and National Diabetes Week, to name a few. The best part about it is that anyone can see the chat just by typing #OzDOC into your Twitter search bar, and you don’t have to join in until you are ready.
Ever since then, OzDOC has been the place to be on a Tuesday night. OzDOC really got me started in the Twitterverse and the Diabetes Online Community, and helped me to feel less like a stranger. They are an amazing, friendly, welcoming, supportive and inspirational group of people. They were among the first of the #DOC friends that I made. Although I don’t know any of them in real life, they certainly have come to feel a little like family. And I don’t think I’ve missed a single chat since I first found it.
I feel extremely empowered having a space to share my experiences in managing diabetes, and I take a lot of inspiration from the other wonderful people there too. I love that we can all have a good laugh at ourselves, not to mention our fierce comptition for the wittiest tweet of the night. Having a wonderful community like OzDOC helps me to feel a little less alone with my diabetes. And while I love that the Diabetes Online Community connects me with people from all over the world, OzDOC helps me to feel a little more at home with my diabetes here in Australia.
Have a think about what you share about your diabetes with the people in your life, and what you choose to keep to yourself. Then join in by following #OzDOC on Twitter from 8.30pm Tonight AEST (GMT+10). Hope to see you there! (I’m guest co-moderating this week).