#NHBPM – The future of online activism.

I think it is clear what needs to happen next within the diabetes online community. As Mike D. put it last night on the #dsma Twitter chat, we need to emphasize the “unity” part of “community”. Otherwise, our messages get lost along the way.

It is not about a symbol – symbols eventually become just symbols, without any meaning or purpose behind them. (Think about corporate logos, what do they really represent?) It is not about marketing – as Kelly Rawlings explained in the same chat, there is already plenty of money put behind marketing for diabetes awareness. (Think about all the marketing dollars being put to research instead!)

It is about unifying our messages, and unifying ourselves. No matter what the type of the condition, it is still called diabetes for a reason. We face the same complications, we use the same blood glucose meters, and depending on our treatment plans, use the same insulin (and even the same insulin delivery devices). Certainly we all have our “pet causes” within diabetes – however we need to be mindful that we do not perpetuate myths while explaining away myths we wish to destroy.

We need to stop the shock-and-fear factor. In my experience, the general public and our health care professionals are well aware that diabetes can take away sight, away feet, away life. We need to show that while we can do amazing things with diabetes, it is still a hard road to travel day after day to take care of ourselves. That is why there is a need for both better treatment and a cure for all diabetes.

Most of all, I would like other patient communities to look up to what the diabetes online community has done and aspire to doing what has already been done with advocacy and activism, to see the “unity” in our “community”.

This post was written as part of  NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days - and is a summary of last night’s #dsma chat the way I answered and read it.

Posted on November 10, 2011, in #NHBPM. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Kelly Rawlings

    Thanks for encouraging unity in the DOC, Rachel! A single voice is worth listening to but may be difficult to hear; a chorus demands attention.

  2. Thank you very much for posting about the importance of the unity in community idea, Rachel! I couldn’t agree more. Now for the making it happen. I see an opportunity here…

  3. This is a great post, Rachel! I struggled with this topic today so I just wrote something else. I guess I didn’t give it enough thought. I really like this message. Thank you!

  4. Very insightful. Beautifully written. And oh so true.


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