When I first stumbled across the DOC a few years ago, I suddenly found myself connected to other people with diabetes from all over the world. As I was bedding in for the night, there were people waking up on the other side of the world. It wasn’t uncommon for me to sit up, anticipating an update from some of my favourite diabetes blogs. Or to reach for my phone and Tweet my diabetes dilemma to the world at 3am, because I knew I’d always find people who’d get it. The first thing I’d do when I woke up in the morning was check my Twitter feeds, reeling from some of the developments that could happen within a night.
We live in a highly connected world thanks to social media. I feel like that level of connection is ever increasing. I am continually blown away at how many people are able to find that connection after diagnosis that took me five years to find. Perhaps that’s also the position that I’ve put myself in as a diabetes blogger. While I would trade it for the world, I can recall a few conversations this year around this somewhat ‘obligation’ to participate in such an interconnected world.
While I definitely still want and need the DOC and diabetes communities wrapped around me today, I think the way in which I want to participate has changed. I think there are still times where I am enthralled in my feeds and with what’s happening. But equally there are times, which seem to be ever-increasing, where I’m more than happy to take a backseat.
I’ve logged out of social media quite a few times this year, most recently for almost a week. While 95% of my interactions within the DOC are nothing but pleasant, it’s always the other 5% that aren’t pleasant that seem to outweigh the good. It’s always that other 5% that leave me questioning myself, my actions and my worth in this community – even though deep down I know that I have no reason to be doing so.
The DOC and broader diabetes community has changed my life for the better. It has truly made the great big world around me much, much smaller. In my head, I once believed that the DOC would simply disappear if I didn’t keep participating.
But at heart I know that the DOC will always be around for me if and when I need it, and I will continue to participate when and as I feel compelled to do so.