I am writing this post in response to a prompt.
The diabetes community can be found on many social media websites. and there’s even an excellent social site just for Diabetics and family of diabetics, TuDiabetes.org. Personally I have found this online community to have helped me immensely in gaining and keeping control of my diabetes. I have learned things I didn’t even know I didn’t know about diabetes, and I have gained so much emotional and intellectual support. Before I reached out to the community I thought I was just a terrible diabetic. A total loser at diabetes control. But I found out I am far from alone in my struggle, there are so, so many other people out there who struggle just like me with their diabetes.
So, the question on the promt for today is, have I suffered Diabetes Social Media Burnout? How do I deal with it? Have I been bullied, attacked, etc.? Do I feel exhausted, unappreciated? Do I take breaks from social media? How do I heal, endure, recharge or reconnect?
I have only been involved with diabetes social media for going on a year and a half. I have to say that, although I sometimes feel a twinge of frustration or “burnout” at the bottom of my heart, I have never even come close to fully experiencing diabetes social media burnout.
For me there is the occasional conversation that I am either directly a part of or observing because it is right there in front of me, where someone is being a total jerk, troll, idiot, or bully. In these instances I find myself tensing up a bit and feeling the rise of negative emotions. But I consciously calm myself, remind myself - no matter how difficult it is - to not take the “attack” too personally (this ■■■ doesn’t even know who I am) and I respond with calm, emotionless, intelligence and truth. This way of dealing with trolls usually scares them off. They aren’t getting the response they are searching for (an emotional fight) and are being proven an idiot by being bombarded with knowledge and truth.
I have experienced this kind of frustration on a couple of sites I am a member of the diabetes community on- Twitter and Google +. I have only experienced it once on TuDiabetes, and I think it was a matter of miscommunication, not trolling. I have never experienced it on Tumblr, but Tumblr’s diabetes community is not too terribly involved or organized compared to other sites.
Another frustration I have experienced among the diabetes social media community is the snake oil salesmen! This problem bothers me beyond belief!. I have experienced this on every single site except TuDiabetes. Hell I even experience it on Wordpress! I go to the reader and select Diabetes category and half the frickin’ blog posts are people trying to sell Plexus, this, that, and everything else as a cure for diabetes! Gaaaaaahhhhh!!! I really don’t see a way to get rid of it all. All I can do is ignore it and block as many of these cruel, greedy people as I possibly can. It wouldn’t be worth it to quit social media and all it’s excellent support over a few jerks.
I wouldn’t say I have ever been bullied or attacked. If I were a very hypersensitive person I might say yes, but I’m not. I am the type of person who is open minded, and I understand that people come from different walks of life, cultures, educations, and beliefs. If they disagree with me I am more than happy to have a calm, rational, and polite conversation with them. If they want to get upset and try to argue or outright fight with me then they are in for a pounding of calm, emotionless, knowledge and truth.
I haven’t gotten tired of diabetes social media, I quite enjoy it. I sometimes feel unappreciated, but then I think about all the compliments, praise, and thank you’s I get on my blog and other sites from people I have had the joy of being able to help, even in the smallest way. There is definitely more appreciation than not to be found amongst my fellow diabetics. And that makes me feel shocked, grateful, and very happy.
Yes, I have taken a week here and there away from social media. It’s not because of burnout, though, but because I go up into the mountains where I have no access, so even if I want to, I can’t get on.
When I am attacked online (not just in diabetes social media) and have been hurt by it, I heal in the moment of the attack by holding my emotions at bay and defending myself with knowledge, calmness, and not giving up (ignoring or blocking the person- because this action usually makes them think they’ve won or achieved their goal of upsetting you). Once the battle is over, I can rest at ease knowing I’ve done my best to beat a bully and, hopefully, teach them something in the process. I’ve actually made a couple of online friends this way. In most cases that bully never bothers me again. A lot of people don’t agree with this tactic, but I’ve found it works best for me. It takes practice to hold your emotions at bay and keep calm and not give up. It’s a lot of work, and maybe can be dubbed the hard road to dealing with trolls, but I’ve never been the type to shy away from hard work. And since it has proven to work for me, it’s what I continue to use to deal with this issue.
When I’ve taken a break and am ready to come back to social media I just jump right on in, join conversations, and look into upcoming events, etc… I usually find myself feeling a bit like I was never gone, and a bit like I am right back home.
Despite the problems that accompany social media (all kinds), I would never give up on it. A break now and then is warranted. And guarding against addiction is highly recommended. But, never completely give it up. Social media is too highly important to socializing with good, helpful, wonderful people you would otherwise never have met. And it is an excellent way for introverts and homebodies like myself to stay socially healthy.