The Online MS Community and #CyberCompassion

Written by on September 3rd, 2013 –

Today is #CyberCompassion day! It’s no secret that in today’s day and age, social media and the internet are a central focus for many people, including youth like myself. As I described in my first post, I’m ALWAYS connected to social media, mostly Twitter! I love the way I can be connected to my favourite celebrities (i.e. the entire cast of Glee, the entire The Chew panel and maybe even a few Kardashians…), but also I think it’s changed the way we receive news from all over the world. The second something happens in the world, a tweet can be sent out and millions of people will know instantly.

For me, I’ve also found the professional side of social media.Through working with Recruitment at Glendon College as an eAmbassador, I’ve found the world of webwriting, social media marketing and management. I’ve personally helped run 5 different organizations’ Twitter and Facebook.

You could say that social media has become a very crucial part of my life. When I was first diagnosed with multiple sclerosis last year, I turned to what I knew best: Social Media! That’s how I came across SomeoneLikeMe because having a blog written by youth like me, instantly drew me in.

I’ve found great support and had great conversations with some of the other SML bloggers over Twitter; everything from talking about Glee & Masterchef with Lelania to talking about MRI experiences with Loribelle.

The great thing about social media though, is that you’re not just connecting with individuals; you’re connecting with whole communities. If you’re on Twitter, following the #multscler, #multiplesclerosis or #accessiblity hashtags, can connect you, like it has me, with other individuals, great articles, tips and advice from others and conversations! If you’re an avid Instagrammer like me, you probably have seen the #FMSphotoaday challenges people do. Back in May, one of the challenges was dedicated to the Australian MS community as they observed Kiss Goodbye to MS Day.

Today’s use of social media allows us to connect with communities and receive support. But it’s a two way street. Send out some support and love! In addition to everything else I do, I am the Director of Operations for a youth-oriented organization called Youth Talks. We help “make the un-relatable, relatable” in terms of issues facing youth whether that’s racism, homophobia, cyber bullying, dealing with disabilities and anything in-between.

Today, September 3rd 2013, is Youth Talks’ second annual Cyber Compassion Day! A day where I and my team are encouraging everyone (even you!) to use their social media accounts to send out some #CyberCompassion. Write on someone’s Facebook wall complimenting some of your followers, Instagram a picture of a friend and you and thank them for being in your life, or tweet some of your favourite celebrities! Use the hashtag #CyberCompassion so the word spreads about this movement.

Social media has helped me find possible career paths, connect with people in fields I’m interested in and receive AND send support to communities I’m a part of. If everybody uses social media to help connect, support, and share valuable information to their communities, we can all help each other out, brighten someone’s day and ease the burden of whatever we’re going through.

Any more online MS resources or communities you know of? Leave them in the comments below!

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