For me, using social media has made a huge difference. I hate to think where I would be today if it were not for social media. Besides learning a lot, I have received help when I felt that the situation was hopeless. Doctors really have no clue how to help someone with gastroparesis and it was my fellow PWDs that were able to help me. I no longer feel hopeless and I actually have hope. After finding the DOC, I learned about Levemir and asked my doctor if I could switch to that. I learned how to do basal testing. I heard about Apidra and asked my doctor if I could try that. I learned what a CGMS was and knew that having one would make a huge difference for me. I even read about other people and their pumps and decided I would try pumping – something I said I would never do.
This month’s Blog Carnival question is, “What advice would you give someone who was trying to figure out how to use social media?” … “At the start, social media can seem a bit confusing, or even a bit intimidating. So this month lets think about the things we wish we had known and tell us . . .”
Being a bit intimidating is probably an understatement for me. I am a pretty quiet person and do much better in one-on-one situations than in a group. You can take 10 people that I know really well and have a great interaction with alone and put them in a room together and I clam up. I started out using social media by just reading. I read for a couple months before I was brave enough to say anything. I even remember my first question – it was how to figure out your carb ratio. Yup, I had been diabetic for almost 24 years at that time and didn’t even know there was such a thing as a carb factor.
I am an intelligent person. I have (or should I say had!) an excellent memory. I had been diagnosed for 24 years. I thought I knew everything there was to know about diabetes. When I started reading online, I felt like I was an alien that landed in some strange universe that I knew nothing about.
No one just popped out of an egg knowing everything there is to know about diabetes. Since I first went online in 2007, I have learned a lot but I also know, there is still a lot that I don’t know. I have since learned that there were a lot of other people just like me – they had been diabetic for a long time and felt like they were some newcomer to diabetes when they started using social media. Know that you are not alone. We all felt lost when we started using social media. We all felt the “who are these people and what are they talking about?”
I think the easiest way to put your foot in the door is by asking a question. By asking a question, you are starting a conversation and people will respond to you. No one is going to look down on you because you didn’t know something. There is a bond with PWD and we want to help each other. Every single one of us had to have our first comment. Every single one of us felt nervous about jumping in and using social media.
This post is my November entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2011/november-dsma-blog-carnival/ I am looking forward to reading the other entries because I still feel lost in the land of Twitter.