The Advantages of Twitter

As some of you know, I’ve recently ventured into” Twitterland”. I hadn’t understood what it was all about before – it never made sense and it seemed trivial………..

well how wrong was I!!!

Twitter has been so valuable in so many ways. None more so than for ‘meeting’ people I would not had a chance to meet under any other circumstance.
Twitter also enables me to ‘Tweet’ as a ‘Tweeter’ and not necessarily as someone with dementia. Unless people take a look at my profile they may not realise I have dementia.

I use Twitter to raise awareness of dementia . The people I’ve met have sometimes had the same views as myself and sometimes different. Conversations have been lively and often enthusiastic. Due to the word count restriction you have to be precise and it also means people are more likely to read what you’ve written.

Twitter is also a great way to find out immediate reaction to news and to find the news before other mediums as well!

Social media has an important role to play on personal development for clinicians and is especially useful for students.

I think all students should be directed to Twitter, especially for the weekly chats that take place.

It enables them to make connections with people – ‘networking’ on line. With more people with dementia venturing onto Twitter, it opens up access to people with dementia to those who would otherwise not have  heard our voice. I can direct them to my blog for more detailed knowledge of issues I’ve written about.

I was at a conference somewhere recently where they had a workshop to show the value of social media for personal development. You have access to a wider range of people from all over the world let alone all over the country.

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One initiative close to my heart which only exists because of Twitter is the #whywedoresearch initiative. This has brought together researchers from all over the world to extol the virtue of research of all kinds. I’m it’s first public ambassador and now we need to find ways to encourage more of the public to become involved.Public involvement is key as without willing volunteers researchers of all types, social, clinical and technological, can’t test their theories. The team, led by Claire Gibbs from James Paget Hospital, have been nominated for an award for this very initiative by the Nursing Times – fingers crossed:)

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At conference events Twitter comes into it’s own as you can instantly react to a speaker and tweet comments. Usually I’ve found they’re positive comments but I recently tweeted about the content of a speech being too technical for lay people and it had the effect of the next speaker adapting their speech – instant result! It’s a great way of sharing good news with the rest of the audience who you aren’t sat with but also for those not attending the conference to follow what’s going on and see what they’re missing! Yesterday I couldn’t go to the Alzheimers Society Annual conference due to the tube strike – 😡 – but I was able to see what was going on by looking at the # on Twitter – including a picture of my empty seat! 😢

Social media is now the new medium for disseminating information. It’s taken over from the written form – e.g.newspapers. More people read newspaper content on line now than the written form. While Facebook remains the most popular social media site, its overall growth has slowed and other methods are increasing – Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, – and I’m sure there are probably others I’ve not heard of.

So far I’ve only ventured into Twitterland but at a meeting recently, I did say I would succumb and venture into Facebook land as this is also apparently a good medium to raise awareness.

I’ve briefly opened the site – had a look – didn’t understand – so closed it quickly – will have wait until my daughters have time to explain and give me a tour:)) Facebook here I come……….

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About wendy7713

On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. I may not have much of a short term memory anymore but that date is one I’ll never forget. I’m 58 years young, live happily alone in Yorkshire, have 2 daughters and I’m currently still in full time employment in the NHS. However, I’m now in the process of taking early retirement to give me a chance of enjoying life while I’m still me. I've started this blog to allow me, in the first instance, to write all my thoughts before they’re lost. If anyone chooses to follow my ramblings it will serve as a way of raising awareness on the lack of research into Alzheimer's. It will hopefully convey the helplessness of those diagnosed with dementia, as there is no cure – the end is inevitable. However, I’m also hoping I can convey that, although we've been diagnosed, people like me still have a substantial contribution to make; we still have a sense of humour; we sill have feelings. I’m hoping to show the reality of trying to cope on a day to day basis with the ever-changing environment that dementia throws at those diagnosed with the condition. What I want is not sympathy. What I want is simply to raise awareness.

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