Three Years of Twitter

Sometime in the wee hours of the morning, I received this tweet:

It’s my twitter birthday today… who knew? I’ve been on Twitter for three years, when you think about it, three years isn’t very long. The first public tweet was sent a little over six and a half years ago.

No one can claim that Twitter is new anymore. My use of Twitter has mostly grown and changed over the last three years, including a handle change and all of the format changes. I remember in the weeks that I first started using it (on my BlackBerry no less!) I made sure the read every tweet in my timeline. It’d probably have blown my mind to know that now I scan the timeline and gain just as much, if not more, information.

Without that TwBirthday tweet, today would have gone unnoticed which is totally okay. But it’s cool to think about the beginning of things compared to how they are now.

Would you celebrate the anniversary of joining Twitter, Facebook or another social site?

Blog Action Day: The Power of We (in the DOC)

I participated in Blog Action Day last year and wrote about food (and diabetes). This year the theme is “The Power of We” so I think it’s high time I talk about the power of this online community that I’ve joined.

The DOC (which stands for Diabetes Online Community) in my opinion starts with Twitter (because that’s where I found them) and branches into blogs, Facebook pages and pretty much the entire internet. The DOC is a powerful, large (so large I don’t even know how many of us there are!) group of people living with all types of diabetes (there’s more than just two types and the DOC taught me that!).

When I’m asked about the value of social media, I find myself consistently coming back to the word “community.” In our online age, community isn’t physical anymore, it’s digital. When I was first diagnosed with diabetes, I felt alone. I didn’t really know anyone else who had type 1 diabetes and I was being given advice and told stories about people with type 2 diabetes. Although both types cause high blood sugar, they have different treatments, different needs and I felt like I needed to “meet” someone who had survived those first few months of carb counting, self-injecting and handling the new lifestyle that I was having to adjust to. I turned to Twitter and found a vast community of individuals with diabetes and caregivers who helped me find the resources, encouragement and outlet that I needed.

In the past year that I’ve been navigating life with a chronic condition, I’ve found that I turn to the DOC with questions and support. They’re always there. In the middle of the night when I’ve woken up with low blood sugar, a brief tweet finds me someone who is either awake in another time zone or up dealing with the same issues. I get digital high fives when something is going well. But most importantly, there are people that understand what I’m dealing with.

I am a part of this community and I’m not just sucking the support, encouragement and information out of it, I can turn around and give it right back to others who need it. It gives me great joy to congratulate a friend (they’re my friends now) on a stellar a1c or answer a question about my insulin pump for someone who is doing research.

Without the internet, I would be in dire need of a support group, but with the speed my life moves, I wouldn’t get what I needed from occasionally attending meetings with other Type 1 patients. My support group is online, all the time. The DOC has been a powerful source of support but also a force of people communicating to healthcare professionals and pharmaceutical companies what it’s like to live day in and day out with a chronic condition, and how they can improve their care with that information.

Online support and the powerful “we” is not limited to those with diabetes or chronic health conditions, there’s an online community out there for whatever you’re looking for. You are not alone.


Think Before You Speak (Tweet, Post, Etc.)

Those of us who work with social media and use it for ourselves face the challenge of keeping our accounts straight. For me this challenge isn’t very hard because I’m very conscientious of my social media usage. I also try to not come across as an idiot on my personal accounts too.

My bosses, my clients and my grandmother can find me very easily online and the last thing I want to do is look unprofessional or immature to any of them. Also, I’d very much like to add value to the internet with what I do.

During last night’s debate, the KitchenAid Twitter account featured a very unprofessional, rude and grammatically unsound, tweet that promoted a lot of bad things being said about people who do what I do (that would be operate social media accounts on behalf of companies). There’s already been a significant amount of age-ist commentary about having 20-somethings run a company’s social media efforts.

This article, with the headline: KitchenAid Tweet Shows, Yet Again, Why Social Needs Mature Talent made me cringe. Someone who typically acts as the voice for a brand screwed up and made the rest of us look bad… again.

This is the bottom line as far as I’m concerned: Think before you speak.

Pausing before sending a tweet is enough to help you realize that you’re logged into the wrong account or that you’re about to let your emotions, strong opinions or whatever else take over and make you look like a fool.

I may not always act professional on my own social accounts, but I strive to act like a mature human being. Something that KitchenAid should look for in a replacement community manager for their Twitter account.


AutoCorrect Fail

Let’s face it, we’re not really that great at typing. Especially on touchscreens. So the autocorrect feature on most smartphones comes in pretty handy to help us get our message across without much editing.

But sometimes autocorrect gets overconfident and takes what we meant to say and turns it into something completely different.

Like spiders.


Apidra and spiders are very, very different things.

Within that same text message conversation with my husband, he announced that someone brought in Starbucks for their team and his phone decided that “Frap” should be “crap.”

Thankfully with a keen eye we can catch these things. My smartphone hasn’t yet been smart enough to realize that I use the word “like” way more often than the word “Luke” and it likes to replace “and” with “ANC.” Of course please don’t forget the “Crude” baby shower book I purchased.

What autocorrect fails have you encountered that made you smile?

PS: Yes I’m aware that there’s a whole website  for these things.

Silence Your Phone

We’ve all been there, sitting in a movie theater and *buzzzzz* *buzzzz* goes someone’s phone. Followed by the blue glow of a screen allowing you to located the perpetrator. Who is it usually?

Did you say teenager?

Yeah that’s usually my experience. It’s sad that at movie theaters, churches and graduation ceremonies they have to request that people silence their phones. But it’s our society today apparently.

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