I am a Twitterholic and I have over 3 hundred followers (not a lot yet but number still growing)…… Not so long ago I was one of the Twitterphobes that was sure that nobody wants to know what I have eaten for breakfast this morning, or how much my daughter enjoys watching Peppa Pig, I was also sure that I didn’t want to read what other people were talking about, why would I, I already had Facebook and I barely logged as I was tired of seeing silly status updates of no relevance.
That was until a few months ago when I meet Tricia, with her enthusiasm got me to see that Twitter and indeed Facebook didn’t need to be about what you ate for breakfast but could be about learning and connecting with people with similar interests, as soon as I got home from work that day I sat in front of my computer and made an account…..then nothing, what was I doing wrong, I had complete writers block, could not think of anything I wanted to say. That’s when I decided that like Tricia I needed to write about what gave me my enthusiasm, what got me out of my seat and made me want to make changes, and that’s when MHBristolCarer was born.
As I have indicated in previous blogs I have a massive interested in carers, especially as I was a young carer myself, i felt that giving carers a twitter feed that could share information about what was happening about the city would be a really good use of Twitter, then I started to find different blogs and other articles that just fuelled my motivation and eagerness to share with my Tweeps.
This then got me thinking how many people were using social media as a form of communication,
in May 2012 the Guardian reported that Twitter had seen over 5 million new UK users join their site that year and Wikipedia claims that 32,920,400 people in the UK had a Facebook account in 2011 (over half the UK population).
With these statistics in mind it makes you wonder how important it is and will be to have social media as a form communication. With more young people turning to social media as a way of communicating it is imperative that psychiatric services and the NHS try and stay a head of the game and have social media platforms available for service user and carers to communicate and access information. If we do not do this we run the risk losing a generation already lost in a world of Social media.
Of course there will be people who are sceptical about social media, I was one of these people once, the message is clear that social media will not be the only form of communication for people to connect with services but an additional way for those who choose to do so
In Bristol we have already set up several Twitter feeds and Facebook pages to allow people to gain access to information and feel connected to their service we are looking to improve our own websites to promote engagement and hopefully allow people and their families to feel supported.