I’m not what people call the social kind. I’m more of a…
It means I don’t like going out in large parties, or to large parties.
It means I’m uncomfortable with more than three people in a group.
It means I prefer being alone in my room than being lonesome in a crowd.
Most of all, I don’t mind people knowing that I’m not a people-person.
As a result, I stayed away from social media, too. I’d always found it too noisy, too spontaneous, and too narcissistic. Until I discovered Twitter chats.
I’d signed up for Twitter six years ago, but for more than five years, I made only feeble attempts at understanding how it works. And then one day, I had to analyse and evaluate Twitter for my work. As I combed through their documentation and scanned popular accounts, I discovered the wonder that is Twitter chats.
It seemed promising — a closed group of people discussing issues that mattered to them. That seemed like a purposeful way to spend time on social media, unlike the posting of selfies and sharing of love-struck statuses my friends did.
Though not all together certain, I joined my first chat. The sheer number of people who contributed to the conversation surprised me. As soon as the first question came on, a bunch of people replied in kind. Funny, enthusiastic, helpful, share-worthy responses piled up. As I read through them, I realised I could contribute something as well. I had a point that no one else had mentioned yet, and I felt an irksome desire to say it out. After all, these were people in my industry speaking their own experiences. It’s fair for me to do the same.
And I typed out my perspective. Within seconds people liked and retweeted my tweet. They replied, they agreed, and some even followed up with questions. The more I shared my ideas, the more conversation I generated. I realised I knew stuff that people thought were valuable. I knew tricks of the trade I didn’t know I knew. It was exciting. Twitter was exciting for the first time in five years! Social media, for once, was social to me.
That chat hooked me right in. From that day forward, I try my best to make it every time the chat happens. Every week, more and more people join in. But I never feel the crowd bearing on my shoulders. Instead, it’s fun to have more people in the discussion. Sure, sometimes my feed floods with hundreds of tweets even before I can read a handful of replies and answer a question, but it’s still useful, engaging, and welcoming as ever.
What began at one chat transcended beyond the one. When I began to participate in many chats, I realised there were others who showed up for particular chats every week. I started to see familiar faces, and I started making friends.
I’d become social. At least on social media.
— — — — — — —
Do you hang around Twitter chats? How do you like it? If you’re interested, come say hello @s_narmadhaa.