We are fighting with ourselves

type 1 vs type 2 war

We are at war, people!  Allow me to explain…

Earlier this week, Sara wrote a post on her blog Moments of Wonderful about a man with Type 2 diabetes that she had a conversation with and the shame that he associated with moving toward insulin-therapy in his diabetes management.

If you don’t read Sara’s blog, you should start.  She is living with type 1, and her posts vary between stories of living with diabetes and news about industry.  And like most of her posts, in the one mentioned above she did a really great job of explaining her feelings without also commanding that everyone reading agree with her. The “P.S.” from her post kind of wraps things up nicely:

I don’t think insulin = failure is an issue just for people with type 2 diabetes. I know I have been in situations where it is so tempting to compare basal rates or total daily doses with other people with type 1 when really our insulin amounts have very little to do with each other.

After reading her post on Tuesday I thought, “Yeah…you’re right Sara!  Good post.”  I walked away from my computer and went on with life.  When I returned to the Interweb, a civil war had broken out!  The war was started when the JDRF posted a link to Sara’s post.

The comments on this Facebook link were varied, but the majority of them were from people with type 1 diabetes, or with children that have type 1 diabetes and the general comment was something like, “We did nothing to deserve this like THOSE people.”

It’s ironic that Sara’s post was born from a place of acceptance and understanding and brought about more fingerpointing and misunderstanding.  I feel strongly that no person living with diabetes is responsible for having this condition.  Read that last sentence again, then stick a fork in me.

I know that many people agree with Sara and I.  Many people feel that this fight is counterproductive.  And many people feel that we need to move past this. Stick forks in all of us.

As people pointed out when commenting, type 1 and type 2 diabetes are not exactly the same, but as demonstrated by Sara explaining that all of us have different basal rates, her type 1 and my type 1 are also not exactly the same. This stuff is tricky.  It’s confusing.  And we are better off if we can all lean on one another…regardless of the number in our label.

This long civil war we’ve been fighting reminded me of a Diabetes Secret from a couple of weeks ago from a tired soldier:

It’s really time to stop fighting this war with ourselves, because at the end of it the only people that lose are people in our own army.  Allow me to quote from one of the army generals (and full-disclosure he also signs my paychecks) Manny Hernandez on the topic:

Back in the 80′s, people who were HIV/AIDS positive and negative joined together, because the stigma was affecting all of them. I recommend that everyone touched by diabetes watches the documentary “How To Survive a Plague“, so we can all get a sense of the unique challenges that this community faced and how they overcame them.

You may say: “HIV/AIDS is so different from diabetes. Diabetes is not contagious. There’s no point in comparing ourselves.” I would argue that a majority of people with diabetes live in the DIABETES CLOSET, and because of this, WE as a diabetes community, are in the DIABETES CAVE… we’re not being seen enough, all types of diabetes are not getting enough exposure, visibility, and deserved attention.

So I call a cease fire.  Everyone put away your weapons.  All is forgiven…let’s start healing.

“To a mankind that recognizes the equality of man everywhere, every war becomes a civil war.”
– Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy

If My Broken Pancreas Was On Social Media…

if my pancreas were on social media facebook diabetes

They just float around all day doing nothing. I would guess that the life of non-functioning pancreases is pretty easy.  I’m pretty sure that I can hear mine making un-funny jokes all the time about my other organs that are actually doing their jobs.  Busted pancreases are annoying.  Thank god mine doesn’t have internet access, because if he did…

line gray light faint foursquare diabetes social media pancreas humor

He would only check into ONE place on Foursquare

Why don’t you save the location-based apps for people that do exciting things?

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twitter account for my pancreas diabetes social media

His Twitter feed would be full of #HumbleBrags

I can think of a few things that I wish you were doing right now.  I don’t want to hear about how much you’re enjoying your life of leisure.

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songs lyrics posted on facebook diabetes pancreas

He would posts a lot of song lyrics

We might like this song, but reading it out of context and without the sweet guitar accompaniment, is just irritating.

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facebook to twitter sync is annoying

He has his Twitter Synched to Facebook

Hey @pancreas don’t you know that Facebook is different than Twitter? #duh

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tagged photo from instagram

He will tag you in photos that you aren’t in

Wait…were you wishing I was there?  Were you mistaken? Or is this just your obnoxious way of trying to make me look at your photo?

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annoying inspirational photos on facebook

The only photos he would post on Facebook are inspirational pictures he stole from someone else

He gets really inspired by hearing some worn out quote from Ghandi…fine.  But why do you have to post the images you stole from Pinterest to Facebook?

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diabetes jokes nobody thinks are funny

He reposts jokes that nobody thinks are funny








This is the one about the new Facebook phone.

A drawing of the new Facebook phone.

On Thursday morning, Facebook has a big announcement for us.  They are saying that on Thursday they will announce their “new home on Android.”  And the rumors have ranged from a simple new Android application for Facebook to an entire Facebook Phone that re-purposes the Android software in the same way that Amazon re-purposed with the Kindle Fire.

Over at TechCrunch, Josh Constine quotes “sources” as saying “it will be a modified version of the Andriod operating system with deep native Facebook functionality on the homescreen that may live on an HTC handset.”

The problem with the Facebook phone concept is that it will not fill a need in the current market.  What will this phone offer that the current iPhone or the current Android phones do not?  This market is already very saturated.  A more integrated Facebook presence is hardly a reason to rush out and get a new phone.

I can certainly understand why Facebook would be interested in having users move to a phone that was either created by them or relied more heavily on the user’s Facebook data (contacts, calendar, photos).  But what does the user get out of such a move?

If this is the announcement that Zucky (that’s what all of his friends call Zuckerberg) is planning on making, I’d be surprised if it gets any traction.  Tell me I’m wrong…would you use it?

This is the one about vintage social media.

I’m not certain that I completely agree with this cartoon about the old ways we used to do this social media stuff.  But that is probably more of me being an over-thinker, and wanting to make things more complicated than they should be.  This is a fun simplification that might help some folks understand what each network is.

A cartoon of how we used to do social networks

The cartoon came from John Atkinson’s awesome site Wrong Hands.  You should check it out. Wronghands1.Wordpress.com

This is the one about using social media to find a college roommate.

I found this infographic from ForRent.com and even though it’s specifically about finding a college roommate, the same wisdom here could be used for anyone looking to find someone to room with.

Bee Tee Dubs…my spell check still doesn’t know the word “infographic.”  Get with it! Reminds me of the days when my computer tried to force me to capitalize “internet.”

I know that RoomSurf and RoomSync will use your shared Facebook data to help you find a good roommate match.  And some folks use #roommate on Twitter, but I’m not sure how effective that is.  And there’s always the old-fashioned way that has always worked for me…Craigslist.

An infographic on how to use social media to find a roommate

This is the one about the equality image that flooded Facebook.

A hand drawn equality symbol

Facebook has been a flood of red in the past week since the Supreme Court heard arguments on the constitutionality of California’s  Proposition 8 which bans same-sex marriage.  This isn’t a political blog, so I won’t waste your time with my opinions on the topic.  Anyone that knows me knows my feelings.

Red HRC equality symbol posted to FacebookOn Tuesday, however, something exciting and interesting happened on Facebook that was completely organic.  Without any sort of prompting by the Human Rights Campaign, Facebook users started changing their profile pictures to a red variation on the HRC’s logo.  If you have Facebook, you’ve seen the image.

Like herpes in a frat house, the image spread quickly and within hours many of my friends had updated their images to show that they support the overturn of Prop. 8.  The organic and unplanned spread of this (admittedly small and simple) political protest interests social-media nerds like me.  Articles about the “lazy internet activist” have yet to be written, but most certainly will be posted on the Queerty and Gawker-type sites in the coming weeks.  And my opinions about what social media has done to political activism have really yet to be formed.

But I wanted to, now that the initial excitement is dying down, document some of what has emerged from the equality meme.  If you’ve seen some that are worth mentioning, please leave the links in the comment section.

Willie Nelson holding a picture of the marriage equality symbol made out of jointsWillie Nelson did an interview in the Texas Monthly where he was photographed holding an image similar to the HRC logo, however the painting showed two blunts instead of the equal symbol.  Willie has been a longtime supporter of marriage equality and has written songs about his support (and he has a song on the Brokeback Mountain soundtrack).

Peppermint Patty red marriage equality symbolPeppermint Patty made an appearance in the first version of the meme that I saw. I snagged this image off of Facebook.  The creator of Peanuts, Charles Shultz, died in 2000 and it’s highly unlikely that the Peanuts copyright owners had anything to do with this version.  Although it has long been rumored that Peppermint Patty is…not like the other girls.

Bud Light red marriage equality symbol

BudLight became the first (of many) companies to go red.  They posted this image on their Facebook page.

At the time of this writing, the image has been shared through the original Facebook post more than 10,000 times.  It has 55,000 likes and almost 2,000 comments.

Martha Stewart Living supports marriage equality facbeook red

Martha Stewart Living also posted on their Facebook page an equality image.  Martha, of course, is classy and wouldn’t post some clunky Photoshopped image, though.

Oh no.  This red velvet cake was posted with the caption, “Equality is truly sweet.” And at the time of this writing has over 18,000 shares.  It’s been liked 16,000 times.  And the image has 845 comments (most in support).

Some of my other favorites that have been spread around so much that I don’t know who to attribute them to:

Red marriage equality meme corgi dogs True Blood marriage equality red symbol Crackers red marriage equality meme Milk red marriage equality meme Startrek red marriage equality meme Pizza red marriage equality symbol Bert and Ernie marriage equality meme Easter peeps candy red marriage equality meme Star Wars red marriage equality symbol Bacon red marriage equality meme

The Facebook river of red hasn’t been all pro-gay, however.  Most famously, The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco posted on their Facebook page this image that I screen-grabbed before the archdiocese deleted the image (and the 350 comments – not one of which was supportive):

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco Facebook screenshot anti-marriage

Do you have a favorite marriage equality meme?  I want to see it.

Leave a comment or email me.

This is the one where I describe the “Instagramification Of Dinner.”

Cartoon of a restaurant people trying to order food that looks good on instagram.I’m an obsessive Instagram user (@mrmikelawson).  It’s sometimes embarrassing how I will drop everything that I’m doing to grab my iPhone and snap a photo.  And I sometimes get so obsessed with finding something to Instagram that I stop really appreciating all of my other senses…smell, sounds, danger intuition.

Caprese Sandwich

The Caprese Sandwich from SLOW in Berkeley, CA.

I talk with people (formally and informally) about my love for social media and how we’ve started communicating differently in the past five years.  Haters gonna hate, and many times skeptical people say something like, “why do I care what you ate for lunch.”  It’s a fairly common opinion that Instagram users just wasting their time by documenting the inane with photographs.  I’ve been told directly that social media services like Twitter and Instagram are making the world a worse place to live.

I would actually argue that the exact opposite is happening. People that take photographs of food and share them on the internet are saving the world.

Traditionally, “breaking bread” has brought people together.  I don’t think that I need to explain the value of sharing a meal with friends or family.  When I was growing up we had mandatory dinners and although it may have not been intentional, these meals grounded me and helped me to realize that I wasn’t alone.  “I” wasn’t eating dinner.  “We” were.

Kale salad

The Kale Salad with edamame beans from Trader Joe’s

In the past 30 years it’s become more normal to “grab something quick” instead of setting the table and planning ahead of time.  The valuable “let’s do lunch” has been replaced with emails pounded out between bites.  And many of the conversations that we absorb over meals are fictional ones between characters on the TV.  And this is undoubtedly unhealthy.  Quick and easy is rarely nutritious and wholesome.

Social media has created a shift in the way that we communicate.  It’s no longer necessary to have hour-long telephone calls with your friends across the country to catch up, because we now keep current with everything that is happening via their Facebook pages.  And it’s true that we are no longer sitting down and stuffing our faces with friends…or at least less frequently.  We are, however, re-creating the valuable conversations that revolved around food and our food choices with the Instagramification of dinner.

More than 60 photos per second are uploaded to Instagram.  Of course not all of them are food…there are a few cat pictures thrown in too.  There are, however, millions of food snapshots uploaded per day.  Food is social.  Eating doesn’t just keep us alive, but it also allows us to connect with others.  The ancient greek philosopher Epicurus said, “We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink.”  We take pictures of our food (and shamelessly slap on a vintage filter to make them look hipster) and post them on Instagram and Twitter because we want to share.  We want to share our meals, even if we are eating alone.

Food is social, but as the world changes and the word “social” is getting a new look, so will the way that we share.

Don’t let the Instagram food-haters bring you down.  If the first thing you think after the waiter drops off your plate is, “what filter am I going to use?” – you’re doing it right.