Twitter chats are becoming a huge part of blogging and #TalkMH was set up by the lovely @hannahrainey_ to allow mental health bloggers, sufferers and activists to chat about various issues and get to know one another. Last Thursday (at time of writing) I was lucky enough to host the chat on the topic of phobias.
If you are thinking about volunteering to host a Twitter chat – do it. It’s a very intense hour, my notifications have never been so busy, but it’s so much fun to see so many people getting involved and making friends. I was paranoid that no one was going to turn up and that the whole thing would flop but thankfully it didn’t. The reaction to the chat was phenomenal. It allowed people with the same phobias to “meet” each other and a lot of us had some things to get off our chests for example how trivialised phobias are. The OCD sufferers probably still have it worse in that regard but “phobia” is certainly overused in a similar way.
#TalkMH is quite small compared to some of the chats, possibly because it is such a niche thing. But because of that we are becoming quite the little community and I feel so lucky to have been welcomed in with open arms despite the fact I miss more of the chats than I’m around for.
Before hosting the chat I scheduled all of the questions via Hootsuite so that on the night I could be constantly replying to people and keeping an eye on my mentions and that helped to keep things running smoothly. I also let people know that due to the pace of things I wasn’t able to follow the tag so if they wanted to speak to me directly they would have to @ me. Despite this everyone seemed to think I wasn’t a terrible host – lucky for them as I will be hosting another chat on 23rd February on body image, self-esteem and the role body positivity can play. If you have any ideas for questions for that chat please let me know.