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Karen Martin and Beverley Ireland-Symonds promote the value of having effective communication skills for individuals, teams and organisations.
Friday, 10 September 2010

A sad tale of isolation?

I have to confess that since I started using twitter over a month ago - I have not been a great fan of it. I can honestly say - I just didn't get it.  I was also frustrated because it took some time to write a message with only 140 characters.

I had lots of sound advice from Lesley Aveyard at Conversation Matters who is passionate about the value of twitter as a tool for business and friendships.  Well I have persevered and feel priviledged to have met some wonderful people from all over the world that I would never have had the opportunity to talk to.  I have been offered so much information - some good, some bad and some indifferent, but in one month I have learnt so much I have to be careful to avoid information overload.

I have found people working in the same areas as myself - coaching, training and; consultancy; those who share a love of fashion, interior design and  dogs and those who have offered me advice on tackling insomnia and eczma.  I have also enjoyed a fierce debate about whether something was racist and held conversations about swedish film directors.  I also get to practice my very poor swedish skills with my new friend in Sweden and no I don't use the available translator and he's very tolerant of my many mistakes. I have also made some very useful professional links.

I have exchanged information in the early morning, during the day, evening and night.  That's the wonderful thing about this form of communication - there are always people awake somewhere in the world.

So Thursday night I was just sending a tweet - when disaster.  I had a message telling me that my account was suspended.  I was incensed - I hadn't done anything wrong.  I sent a sharp email complaining about it - not knowing that the message was only being sent to a machine. The machine kindly sent me a response to check their rules.  I did - I hadn't broken any. Another email to another machine and a third one a couple of hours later complaining that I hadn't had a response.  What really shocked me was that I felt bereft.  Was I suddenly addicted to this twitter world that I had been against?

Well no I'm not addicted.  I spent the day and a half before my account was restored doing lots of other work and ignoring the random feelings of isolation and concern that people might forget about me. I thought these feelings were a bit over the top and told myself not be so self-indulgent but it's heartening to discover others have had the same experience and felt exactly the same.

So it was great to have my account restored and catch up with people. If you think it's just the general chat that I missed. It wasn't.  It's the sharing of ideas and work related information.  Check out The Absolute PA Blog - When Alicia wanted some help she tweeted a question and  got  help from other tweeters including me. 

If I'm completely honest, I still don't feel as if I have entirely got to grips with understanding all the benefits of twitter, but I certainly missed it and that's something I never expected to say.


Lesley said...

You have learned so much in such a small space of time - I think the most valuable thing of all is how supportive and interesting people can be. Those people who, without Twitter, we would never have the opportunity to meet, converse with and sometime debate with. There are no rules - there's no guide book to Twitter, and admittedly everyone has a slightly different opinion of the concept. Your 'space' will mature and fill with people you are comfortable with, who feed and share with you some great content and from whom you will gain support and influence. It all takes a little time...and you're just doing great! I watch you tweet, see how supportive of others you are, what great conversations you engage in and now you are producing some great content of your own!!
Honoured to have been part of your introduction to Twitter and to have helped you get this far....you can take off the arm bands now - but if you ever feel a little unsure, I am never far away, I'm in your 'space' and proud of it:)

Lesley Aveyard

ATC said...

Thanks Lesley. I really wouldn't have got this far with out you.