The folks at Diabetes Daily have cobbled together a day to discuss diabetes social media burnout. (Yes, ironic to dedicate a day of online discussion about diabetes social media burnout …) but the topic is real and something that we have all encountered over the years, so it bears discussion.
Only I’m not talking about it today.
Why? Because I don’t really feel up to it.
The crap that I have to do to stay on top of diabetes is non-negotiable. Checking blood sugars, making careful food choices, exercising, blah, blah, blaaaaah. That stuff is part of the repertoire I cannot ignore without putting my health at significant risk.
But the blogging part? Twitter? Instagram? Answering emails? That’s not required for diabetes management. That’s auxiliary. And mostly positive, in my experiences. The Internet isn’t always the cuddliest place, but in the diabetes community there is a welcomed trend of positive interactions and real, substantial relationships with people touched by diabetes coming together to share experiences, ideas, and to help someone carry the parts of diabetes that get a little heavy at times.
But these connections are not required. They are a choice you can make, just like opening your computer or clicking away on your smartphone. More choices follow from there, steeped in personal preferences: Download the Facebook app on your phone? Only use Twitter during #dsma? Take weekends off from social media? Engage with trolls? Engage in supportive interactions and fruitful friendships? Give a shit about cruel things that people might say? Ignore/block/delete unwanted commentary? Seek out local, in-person meet-ups? Have long text message threads with friends you’ve made in the DOC? Dedicate your personal and professional life to diabetes efforts?
… or how about take a breath? Enjoy a combination of what’s available. Relax a little bit. Enjoy social media as an option, not as a requirement. The Diabetes Online Community is a tool in our diabetes management toolbox. And just like with any toolbox, you don’t always need the same one. (Avoid trying to use a flat head when you need a Phillips. Don’t use a hammer when you need a steamroller. Learn the difference between a level and a wrench. Never substitute playdough for a nail. Don’t chew on a socketwrench. Et cetera.)
For more on diabetes burnout with a side of social media, check out these posts: