DSMA stands for Diabetes Social Media Advocacy and is one of the primary reasons why I decided to rejoin Twitter. I had an account that I maintained throughout college, but I deleted it last January because it had no meaning left to me. It existed as a mere narration of the awkward encounters, strange observances, and many musings that occurred to me in this specific period of my life. It was, in short, diary entries consisting of 140 characters (or less) that I no longer felt comfortable sharing with my followers despite having a private account.
However, I changed my mind this past June when I re-evaluated how I could use Twitter in a more fulfilling way. After all, I enjoy how social media connects me with others. I decided to invent an entirely new account that is focused on my diabetes, much like this blog. I would say that 80% of it pertains to my diabetes, whereas the remaining 20% is little snippets about my other interests (including, but not limited to, soap operas, Harry Potter, and chocolate).
After creating my diabetes-concentrated account, I discovered that a solid portion of the Diabetes Online Community (DOC) participates in weekly chats hosted by DSMA. These tweet sessions last one hour and revolve around a different, pre-selected topic each week. The DSMA account tweets out an average of five or six questions over the course of the hour, giving you ample time to respond to each one and look at, reply to, and re-tweet what other people have to say. And once you participate in one DSMA conversation, it totally becomes an addiction. You bond with others over shared experiences and feelings, despite the fact that you might not have met them in person.
Since June, I’ve looked forward to these Wednesday night virtual hang-outs. It’s always interesting to speculate on the subject for the night—some of my favorites have been about burnout, exercise, exploring the past/future with diabetes, and the always-amusing fill-in-the-blank prompts.
Another pro of DSMA live tweeting? Participation week-to-week is (obviously) completely voluntary. You can keep up with it for the full hour, join in late, or bow out early. That way, you can catch up with members of the DOC for as long as you like.
Needless to say, my current use of Twitter is drastically different compared to how I used it in the past. It’s still completely saturated with my personality, but now I feel much more positive when I tweet than I did before. And thanks to the existence of platforms like DSMA, I can open up and connect with others in a way unique from this blog.
So I encourage you to find me, DSMA, and the other members of DOC on Twitter and join in the next conversation!