Taking part in a twitter chat

A Twitter chat is simply a number of people, interested in a common topic, following a particular hashtag, in this case #IBDChat, on a given day, at a given time! It’s that simple. Yes, I know it may seem rather last decade but it does have advantages. When COVID lockdowns first came into force we tried a couple of Zoom “chats” but had a few comments that people would have liked to take part but were not confident to be seen or talk on camera or they were busy having dinner.

The beauty of a Twitter chat is that you can just “lurk” and read the answers without having to respond. If a discussion makes you uncomfortable then simply stop following the hashtag. You can also dip in and out as time allows and can revisit the posts any time after the allotted slot. Often the discussion goes on hours, even days, after.

There is one golden rule to any chat – you must include the relevant hashtag in all your Tweets so that those following the topic can see them.

If you are using a laptop or PC I recommend downloading Twitter’s own Tweetdeck app. It makes it much easier to follow the conversation. There used to be a version for Android and iOS but they seem to have been discontinued.

There are a few points to remember :

Include the #IBDChat hashtag in all your Tweets to ensure they are picked up by all participants and form part of the conversation

A Twitter chat is not a substitute for medical advice from your own team – so please seek their advice if you need to

Remember that what you Tweet stays out there – so do consider how much information you want to share

We usually start each chat with introductions – your name, where you are located and a brief description of your experience/how long you have had with IBD, BUT this information is voluntary!!

Topics for discussion are usually labelled T1, T2 etc. so it makes like easier if you start your answers with A1, A2 etc.

…and finally (again) – please make sure that you Include the #IBDChat hashtag somewhere in all your Tweets to ensure they form part of the conversation