November is diabetes awareness month. I love the increased advocacy in the diabetes community. However, sometimes it seems that the people who pay attention to the diabetes awareness efforts are the people who are already aware.
People are busy. I get it. Who has time to focus on every cause known to man? (Myself included.) I wonder though – what if there was a way to reach people in the general population – to disseminate information without causing a sweat.
One way I thought of was: Google.
Do you visit Google’s homepage every day? Or, the better question, perhaps: How many times do you visit Google’s homepage every day?
The Google doodles are an awesome aspect of Google’s homepage. They’re so fun and unpredictable. And they’re a great way to educate people. I, for one, have picked up a wealth of information about all sorts of cool things, like the invention of the zamobini! As an artist, I also enjoy seeing the design work.
Last year, November 14th rolled around: World Diabetes Day. I turned on my laptop and, as I always do, I typed www.google.com. I was excited; I expected to see a logo that would mean so much to so many Google users worldwide. Millions of people have diabetes, and millions more will develop it. World Diabetes Day seemed like the perfect day to raise awareness in a highly-trafficked area like Google’s homepage.
Unfortunately, when I got to the homepage, there was no diabetes Google doodle.
I did some research into Google’s past doodles, by googling Google’s doodles. (Try saying that five times fast.) I noticed that most of the doodles pay homage to famous birthdays, inventions, and national holidays. I didn’t find any doodles that reference disease awareness.
In googling, I also found that I wasn’t alone; an army of people wanted to see a diabetes-related doodle back in 2008. And then again in 2012. (Thanks, Amy, from DiabetesMine for spelling out the issue.)
In short, Google was not interested. Health topics are not something they typically showcase in their doodles. And diabetes isn’t quirky enough.
The oodles of googling got me thinking. I completely understood their logic. But, in my opinion, diabetes is quirky! A lot of quirky people have diabetes. Diabetes may even make us quirky. We all have nerdy carb-counting apps on our phones. And we’re the only people left wearing electronic devices high on our pants. Plus, diabetes itself is full of quirks. That’s why, after decades with the disease, most of us are still baffled. Of course, to know this, you’d have to have diabetes yourself, or be close to someone with it… which circles us back to the original issue: raising diabetes awareness.
I figured that if Google didn’t want to make a diabetes doodle, maybe I could.
I began my doodle last year, but I never finished it. Between pregnancy and motherhood, my art-making has taken a backseat. But the hiatus is over. I’ve missed it too much. I was flipping through my old sketchbook and I found my unfinished doodle. It was calling out to me: “Complete me!”
Who knows. Maybe Google has a diabetes-ified doodle planned for this year. But in case they don’t, here’s my Just-For-Fun-Diabetes-Doodle. It may never make Google’s homepage, but I’m glad to share it here on A Sweet Life.
I have zero capabilities in interactive web design, but if I did, you’d be able to click the pump buttons in the picture. And the screen would flash to “Low Battery” or, “Less than 20 units remaining.” I’d also make the orange cap pop off the syringe. And every time you’d scroll over a test strip, they’d scatter about the screen. They’re so hard to pick up, those test strips!
When you google something this November – Diabetes Awareness Month – here’s a reminder that you are noticed.