Does the internet really help those living with diabetes? Beyond googling what the carbs are in a milkshake, beyond sending a email to your nurse asking if you should change your basal rates, and beyond responding to your mom via Facebook about how your blood sugars are doing. Is the internet hurting our understanding of both diabetes and ourselves?
This is a hard question because most of what I do for diabetes is via the internet. For instance, this very blog, or the type 1 diabetes meme page I started years ago. I believe that so much good can come from connecting via the internet, because firstly you can reach more people and secondly you can keep connect to those that don't live close to you. The internet has become our way of dealing with issues and chances are those cute journal books we used to write in, are long gone.
Sometimes I want to delete myself from diabetes related conversations via the internet. I want to shut it all out and focus on what I am dealing with at the moment. It's hard to take on the burden of others struggles, and then in turn compare them with your own. Am I worthy of feeling frustrated that they don't understand my point of view? Am I worthy of feeling stressed about my current situation, when theirs seems worse off? Comparing, consulting, confusing.
A few months ago, I left A LOT of diabetes groups online because I couldn't take it anymore. I felt myself comparing myself to others, I felt myself trying to consult those that I felt were struggling and I was confused at what my place was. We are all living our own lives, yet rely so much on how others perceive us, good or bad.
I think about my local empowerment group, where we meet in person weekly, interact, share our frustrations and opinions and can't help but think of much of a breath of air that is. Connecting, face to face, and getting to know one another in more ways that what we post via social media. I want those deep rooted connections, yet I also want to have the platform to express how diabetes has played out in my life.
It's a tug of war trying to find that balance between being an advocate, having a platform, but still stepping back and realizing when this isn't fulfilling my time and I am going to let it go.