|Image taken from Google Images.|
Earlier today, a friend on Twitter asked the following question:
"Ok #doc #pwd: do you have more diabetic friends online or offline? Have you met any of your online friends?"
I think my views when it comes to the Diabetes Online Community (DOC) are pretty obvious: I love it. It's "open" 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Where else do you get support like that?!
At Friends for Life this year, there was a panel discussing "Social Media and the Monster Under the Bed: the Latest Thinking on Fearing vs. Embracing Social Media" which was streamed live so members of the DOC not at the conference could watch and take part. I watched this after the event, and it was the opening statistics that surprised me, but then didn't surprise me, at the same time. If that makes any sense?! "People with diabetes spend more than 20% of their time online and on social networks." That's a lot of time when you compare it to the "0.1% of their time which is actually spent with medical professionals." (Quotes taken from the video.)
So, for me, the DOC is important. I've noticed a huge difference in how I manage my diabetes since getting involved. Don't get me wrong, I'd never force someone to join in, but I would make them aware of the fact that it is there if they want it - no force-feeding of community!
The other thing I love about the DOC? How it's slowly moving offline as well. The summer before I went on my year abroad, Lizzie, initially an online friend, and I decided to meet offline. And it was awesome. And this is happening more and more, through conferences, like the Greater Minds Inspire event I went to back in July, and The Big Event, organised by Diabetes UK, taking place next weekend, which I can't wait for!
Okay, I am biased, but this community's pretty darn sweet (no pun intended...okay, maybe a little...) and whether it be online or offline, I'm excited to see what it does next.
Sidenote: Unicorn for the DOC?! Who knew?!