I recently joined a professional upcycling association The Upcycled Hour and one of the membership conditions is to take part in the weekly twitter forum #upcyclehour. I am a twitter newbie so I took the bull by the horns, set myself up with an account @chalkychic and at the allotted time, dived in. My first tweet announced that I was a first timer and didn’t have a clue what I was doing. Within seconds several helpful members instructed me to make sure I was on the live link and then just go with the flow…
What a stressful 60 minutes – I can only liken it to arriving in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language and don’t understand the culture!
The conversation was in full flow but I didn’t understand it – tweets flew across my bow at a fast and furious pace, often responding to streams that I didn’t see the beginning of and couldn’t grasp the meaning. It was clear that many of the members were old hands at this lark and had already formed a virtual relationship with each other. I found myself wondering whether this was what the early stages of dementia was like – not being able to keep up with the conversation or recognising the participants? Blink and you missed something, leave the screen to make a cuppa and you were a goner.
Eventually a couple of other newbies made contact and we all confessed our mutual bewilderment. Eventually as the clock ticked on, I summoned up the confidence to contribute and tweeted about my experience of using Annie Sloan’s white wax for the first time. People responded, even asked me about it and whether the product was easy to use? Finally the hour was up and with a huge sigh of relief I bid my farewell and left the platform.
I guess that taking part will get easier with the passing weeks and now realise that I need to be prepared and take something to the forum each week if I want to make the most of the experience. Only time will tell whether Twitter becomes my friend, but like every relationship you only get back what you put in!