Professor Partha Kar diabetes NHS sugar blog

be going out of their way to annoy you.

Never post anything which you would

not be happy saying in person to your

grandmother/the queen/whoever you

instinctively would not want to offend.

Many disagreements online are simply

misunderstandings. Remember that you

never know what is going on in someone

else's life at any one point. They may be

under stress, or angry or upset about

something entirely unrelated to their

interaction with you or have a particular

vulnerability or sensitivity to something

being discussed.

It is also important to stress that

deliberate cyber-bullying is very real and

can have a devastating impact. If you feel

you are affected by this issue at any time,

never retaliate. Instead, use the 'block'

and 'report' tools available on the channel

in question and raise it with moderators

if appropriate. For more details on cyber

bullying, CLICK HERE.

Sense check

Remember that you are doing this to make

living with diabetes slightly easier. If your

social media interactions are making you

sad, upset or angry; if your use of these

resources is making you uncomfortable, or

you think it is having a detrimental effect on

your state of mind: STOP.

This article was originally written for

www.t1resources.uk and is reproduced

with permission and with thanks.

www.t1resources.uk

Some people take to social media like a

fish to water. Professor Partha Kar has

been a prolific user of this medium while

doing a national role. He's been asked to

talk about being safe online, and these are

my notes from one of those talks. By Sue

Marshall

"Social media is seen by some as a

'dark art' while others see it as a welcome

disruptor, challenging the accepted

norms. It can be a bit 'odd out there', and

I can tell you a story to illustrate that about

a pancake.

On Twitter or Instagram you can put

up a post, often with an image, and put

in #pancake. You could even take a video

of your pancake and put onto YouTube.

I now have my own personal hashtag:

#pancakegate as a result of what

happened when I put up my picture of a

pancake. I called it a waffle and people

were quick to tell me it wasn't a waffle,

it was a pancake. But this escalated to

comments like, 'how can you as the

National Lead on Diabetes eat pancakes?

And so it went on. It was a Sunday and

I quite happily responded everybody,

answering their questions. I would point

out that while I am reasonably well-known

on social media, people are surely not

going to start cooking pancakes because

I've eaten one, as well as the fact that the

best diet in the world is the one that you

can sustain and can afford.

Social media is a good platform for

education, and that includes educating

myself. I have learnt a lot about Type I

diabetes from other commentators online.

I also get to interact with colleagues quickly

as well as with people with diabetes.

Often the information is galvanising.

Like everything, there are pros and

cons, it can be a tool for good, or it can

be divisive. Which I think we also need

to accept that in a democracy, differing

opinions are fine as long as done without

resorting to rudeness. I think you need to

accept that you will not always get along

with everybody on it.

I believe that action on social media

helped break the dreadful blockage we

had a while ago - the postcode lottery,

where some areas did not take NHS

advice to allow relevant users to access

Abbott's FreeStyle Libre.

Online support

It's clear that the world is changing;

there is so much more to diabetes selfmanagement, the availability of peer

support as well as access to trained

personnel. These are all key and social

media and diabetes technology are both

here to stay. Some bits of good advice are:

don't say stupid things, don't tweet when

you've had a few drinks or are angry. You

may never meet the other people you

interact with online, so sometimes it's best

to disengage and walk away. the best way

to look at social media is perhaps seeing it

as another medium for peer support. Just

don't forget that social media is a public

space; bear that in mind and hopefully all

will be fine.

In my view, if we get the messaging

right we can use social media to help

disseminate good information, change

people's attitudes and even change

behaviors for the better. Using social

media as a communications tool is

another way we can help to obtain

optimum health outcomes for people

living with diabetes.

nhssugarblog

PROFESSOR PARTHA KAR

In the digital realm, are those we meet really friends? An HCP's point

of view for staying safe on social media.

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