Long-term readers may remember last year I talked about effective ways to avoid social isolation with Fibro and this involved social media. I regularly speak (type) with people who use some social media platforms but not others because they don’t want to get overwhelmed or have too many accounts to manage. So I thought today I would put together a series of short guides to some of the social media accounts I use and how I use them, starting with Twitter. Although I write these posts for creative people with a chronic health condition, I’m sure there will be some useful ideas for everyone.
Why Twitter first?I have decided to write about Twitter first merely because it is currently the social media account I am actively working on the most. As with any blogger/vlogger building a social media presence is one of the most important things you can do. Having said that this is no business only transaction. Increasing my activity on Twitter has massively improved my social life and brought me lots of useful advice.
The early daysI started out my Twitter journey by just sharing my blog posts and replying to anyone who left a comment. I gathered a few followers by doing this, mostly fellow members of the Fibro Bloggers Network etc. But after a while, I stuck at about 200. Two hundred is the average follower count for somebody who uses Twitter to connect with real-life friends but for a blogger; it is woefully small.
Taking it to the next levelOnce I decided to use a Twitter platform, Commun.it, to monitor my account, I not only began to increase my followers (I am now at nearly eight hundred), but I started talking to people on a daily basis. I am always making new friends who are in some cases very similar to me (@flowerstrorms I’m talking about you) and other cases completely different (too many to mention). Here are some of the benefits I have had from Twitter:
- I have had helpful products recommended
- I often hear about new creative products before they are launched
- When I am having a bad day, I feel very supported by the kind wishes of my Twitter friends
- I can ask a question and usually get a much quicker reply than on other platforms I use
- A tweet is limited to 280 characters, so messages are to the point
- My old blog posts are reshared far more often on Twitter than my other accounts
- Users follow the links through to my blog posts more often than any other platform.
Twitter Recommendations that have helped me
Compression GlovesRecently @HippieBlueDeadG mentioned they had some copper gloves that were good. I looked into this and although I didn’t get the copper ones I bought a pair of compression gloves created by doctors for arthritis, Raynaud’s Disease and Carpal Tunnel from Amazon. These gloves have been helpful and allowed me to keep colouring for longer. Even better they are pink. Next month I plan on getting a second pair then I can have one to wear and one to use, let’s face it when you use coloured pencils they can get a little messy.
CBD OilOnly yesterday we invested in some CBD Oil to see if this will benefit us. Many people on Twitter regularly mention CBD Oil, and it was this constant reassurance that it is safe as well as utterly legal that I gave in to trying it. It is too early to know how much it will help but if it enables me to reduce or even come off co-codamol it will be a huge deal (if we can afford it!)
Food Advice@HeidiHmoretti is helpful, sharing all sorts of food knowledge if only I had the willpower to put more of it into action. To balance this @AliApow and @LauraSpoonie help me not to feel too bad about the struggle to eat sensibly.
The negatives of TwitterLike the majority of things in the world, there are some cons to Twitter as well as all the Pros. In general, it is easy to remove yourself from the situation. Here are some of the problems you may encounter and what to do about them.
TrollsTrolls exist on the majority of social media platforms in one way or another. If you are unfamiliar with the terminology trolling is, in short, being rude or annoying on the internet. If you are curious to know more the Urban Dictionary will fill you in, I’m sure. You have various options if you come across a troll on Twitter, you can choose the more arrow and say:
I don’t like this TweetIt will vanish from your screen. Removing a specific message is the best action to take if you are usually happy with the majority of tweets someone shares but this one annoys you, maybe for political or religious reasons etc… If someone has crossed the line and it is not just you who wouldn’t like this tweet, but it is entirely offensive to pretty much everybody you can
Report a tweetIt will then vanish from your screen (and I believe everyone else’s), and Twitter will look into it and if necessary remove the individual from Twitter (we are talking enticing hate or making genuine threats etc.)
Block a userIf you have decided that you don’t want to see any future messages from a particular user (but they are not doing anything seriously wrong) you can block a user which means they can continue to tweet to everybody else but they can’t send you a message, and you will not see any of their general tweets. Finally the somewhat cheeky option.
Mute a userIf you mute someone they can continue to send all of their tweets out unaware that you are not seeing any of them. It is a bit like filtering someone’s emails straight to the spam folder. You technically get them, but Twitter tucks them away out of site. This may be useful for instance with a marketing company who you wish to support in principle, but you don’t actually want to be sold anything by them.
Are Twitter Trolls a big deal?In all the time I have been using Twitter I believe I have removed maybe two messages and reported one tweet and I have had a total of four different Twitter accounts over many years.
If you have any questions about Twitter, please do put them in the comments below. Although I am not qualified in computer science, I will happily out myself as a nerd when it comes to social media. Over the coming weeks, I will be covering YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and G+ as a minimum (not necessarily in that order), if there is another platform, you would like me to talk about again drop a comment below, and I will do my best. Remember I am based in the UK, and I am aware specific platforms are not wholly international.
I hope you have found my Twitter overview useful. If you have any questions at all drop them in the comments below. Or if you would like me to go far more into detail about Twitter on my sister blog Creative Fibro Digital Guru let me know. I’d be happy to.