I have diabetes. I support getting the word about diabetes out. But I have to take a moment to play devils advocate because there’s something that bothers me lately.
The Google logo and world diabetes day on Nov 14th. (I blogged about this last year, and yes it would be cool, and yes diabetes is important to me, and yes so is awareness.)
I did some research because almost every time there’s a new Google doodle there’s some hype surrounding it and how Google won’t hook up the diabetes peeps with our own doodle. Most notably recently I remember the barcode and now with sesame street. I do have to say that cookie monster is my favorite:
So, here’s what I’ve discovered: there’s not one disease that has ever had a Google doodle, if someone can prove me wrong, I’ll take that statement back.
There are a million diseases worthy of being noticed. To most of us they’re mostly a name, or maybe they hit us on some level of familiarity, like a family member with cancer. Then there’s the diseases that are personal to us, like me and diabetes.
Diabetes is huge, it affects me directly, it affects my uncle, my sister, my grandmother…it’s all over my family. It’s all over the world. It’s in the remote places where they can’t even get a hold of meds or have to walk a half marathon to get to a doctor. It’s huge.
But so are other things. Like the people that don’t have homes in third world countries, or access to clean water, or access to indoor plumbing, or children without parents because disease has taken them out of this world and the child doesn’t have a chance at living long because starvation will kill them before they even get a chance to catch a disease.
Google will lose what Google is about if they start putting up logos for diseases and everything else that is not pretty in this world. Google is fun. Diseases are not, we can’t create a logo for something so depressing and expect it to fit in with Google’s brand (I’ve been reading about branding, it takes a long time to build up a brand and not much to destroy it).
I understand that Google has an amazing reach since many of the people that use the internet use Google as a search engine, but really, what is a Google Doodle going to do for us, the diabetic population, it’s a blue circle, one that not every diabetic knows of unless they pay attention to all the blogs in the D-sphere and visit the D-communities (and yes, those people do exists). It would link to a search for diabetes which really, is a useless search for us, it brings up general information sites, but doesn’t really link to anything about efforts for finding a cure unless you dig into the sites that Google brings up. And is diabetes something people really want to read about if they’re not already associated with it in some shape and form (mostly, I’d say not…when’s the last time you read about something you’re not associated with, i dunno, let’s pick on prostate cancer. When’s the last time you googled for prostate cancer)?
I understand that the goal is awareness, I just think that we’re getting upset with the wrong people for not doing something that we think would be cool. And yes, I agree having a Google doodle would be cool, I just don’t think that Google is the proper platform for gaining awareness for our disease.