#AloneTogether Hashtag | Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior

#AloneTogether Hashtag

Realizing everyone else is #AloneTogether too

My eyes filled with tears as I noticed the current hashtags on Instagram a couple weeks ago. Hashtags are the butt of many jokes, but we can’t deny they’re a shortcut to a longer story. After all, I did start the hashtag #rheum back in the hashtag heyday, in order to create a community on Twitter. Suddenly, the hundreds of people talking to me could all see one another.

#Alonetogether HashtagThat is the reason hashtags are still around today: CONNECTION. Click a hashtag and you’re instantly connected to hundreds—or hundreds of thousands—of people who have that one thing in common at that moment. People who are unrelated, who may never meet, who may be a world away, but people who GET IT. They used the same hashtag at that same moment because they were connecting to everyone else who used it. And the world sees it.

Always #AloneTogether with RD?

Some recent hashtags: #quarantine, #covid, #stayhome, #alonetogether, #socialdistancing, #untiltomorrow, and many variations remind me of the ways many of us with rheumatoid disease have managed—and thrived—for many years. We are almost always #AloneTogether. We have this one thing—rheumatoid disease—that connects us, no matter what else is different about our lives. In many ways we’re all alone—but I thank God that we are alone TOGETHER.

Benefits of solidarity from hashtags! #AloneTogether

We benefit from being #AloneTogether in many ways. Being #AloneTogether helps you find others’ images, links, or posts, where you experience:

1. Excitement: Yay! Someone else agrees!
2. Relief: Whew, we’re not crazy!
3. Empathy: That’s hard. I’m sorry.
4. Delight: That’s so sweet!
5. Solutions: What a great idea—we could try that!
6. Laughter: LOLOLOL
7. Ideas: Oh, that’s cool! Let’s get one of those!
8. Shared struggles: At least we’re alone together instead of alone alone.

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Alone in a crowd vs #AloneTogether

One of my #QuarantineActivities has been turning off the news and exposing my soul to new music while I scrub pantry shelves or do my mini-workout. Yesterday, I noticed these words from Beautiful People by Ed Sheeran: “Surrounded, but still alone.” Have you ever experienced that? I’ve stood in a crowd where no one had any idea I could barely stand due to damage in my knees. Many pains or sorrows are invisible.

While we’re weary of COVID-19 #StayHome, let’s give thanks that we are #AloneTogether. Whether our hands are dry from repeated washing, our hearts are beleaguered by hearing death counts, or our minds are afraid from the target on our back with a compromised immune system, we know we do it #AloneTogether. As people with rheumatoid disease, we are used to surviving #AloneTogether and we will again.


The many benefits of #AloneTogether! People with #chronic disease like #rheum know it beats alone alone Click To Tweet

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Kelly O'Neill

Kelly O'Neill (formerly Kelly Young) has worked about 12 years as an advocate helping patients to be better informed and have a greater voice in their healthcare. She is the author of the best-selling book Rheumatoid Arthritis Unmasked: 10 Dangers of Rheumatoid Disease. Kelly received national acknowledgement with the 2011 WebMD Health Hero award. She is the president of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. Through her writing and speaking, she builds a more accurate awareness of rheumatoid disease (RD) aka rheumatoid arthritis (RA) geared toward the public and medical community; creates ways to empower patients to advocate for improved diagnosis and treatment; and brings recognition and visibility to the RA patient journey. In addition to RA Warrior, she writes periodically for newsletters, magazines, and websites. There are over 60,000 connections of her highly interactive Facebook page. You can also connect with Kelly on Twitter or YouTube, or LinkedIn. She created the hashtag: #rheum. Kelly is a mother of five, longtime home-schooler, NASA enthusiast, and NFL fan. She has lived over fourteen years with unrelenting RD. See also https:/rawarrior.com/kelly-young-press/

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4 thoughts on “#AloneTogether Hashtag

  • April 17, 2020 at 2:56 pm

    Thank you for this email today… I’m not very technical so I never used hashtags…. could you tell me how to do so? Is it only for Twitter or Instagram?
    Thank you for everything you have done for us, who struggle with RD…
    I have read your book and it was so wonderful!
    You put your heart and soul into the book and what a blessing you are!
    Thank you!!!

    • April 17, 2020 at 3:30 pm

      Hashtags are mostly used on Instagram and Twitter, but other social sites have also used them. If you see one, you just click on it and that brings up other posts with the hashtag. Then if you want to use one, just type the # sign at the beginning of the word, and it “magically” becomes a link!
      Thank you for your kind words, Trudy. I feel like other people with RD are my family.

  • April 19, 2020 at 8:16 pm

    #Iwanttohug so many people! My daughter, my 2 sons, my 11 grandchildren, my 3 greatgrandchildren, all my #rheum friends – including you, my dear!

    But, unlike some, I am blessed to have my precious husband in #quarantine with me. So I a not “alone-alone,” I am – what? #notalone?

    I hope all of us will soon be out of #quarantine!

  • April 20, 2020 at 6:36 pm

    #3-Empathy under heading Benefits of solidarity from hashtags! #AloneTogether. I have a serious issue with this because I have been dealing with masks, social distancing, being chronically ill and in pain for 2 years now (since 2018) and constantly getting worse. I have a hard time feeling for able bodied people who are dealing with COVID-19 now.


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