Finding Unexpected Community in My First #mediachat


I’m not sure if you’ve experienced this but, whenever I try something new I come in with a healthy amount of skepticism. My mom says it’s because I’m a pessimist…I prefer realist.

Just like clockwork, at 9:30 PM, I was sitting at my computer waiting for this week’s edition of #mediachat on Twitter. Tired after a long day of my internship, I was really tempted to put this assignment off. Then 10 PM rolled around, the chat started, and I was so happy I decided to stick around.

Live tweeting, unbeknownst to me, is all about community. The chat started and people immediately opened their social media arms, (@Social_Chef: Welcome to all newcomers and students. Experience the best chat group on Twitter (Aside from #SonomaChat). #MediaChat). Aaron Kilby, the founder of #mediachat, welcomed all those new and old to the chat and I felt ushered into a community that was eager to learn with new minds every week.

The topic for this week was on mentoring and the guest speaker was Tom Reid, founder and CEO of Certified Contracting Solutions. At the University of Florida, there are over 1,000 student organizations on campus to get involved in. I have been lucky enough to find my home on campus through several of these groups. The reason I was able to find my home away from home were the mentors I received. One of my best friends, who I credit for much of my happiness in college, was a mentor to me from freshman year onward. When I found out that mentoring was going to be the subject of this #mediachat, I was so happy that I decided to stick around and try a Twitter chat for the first time – my skepticism was dwindling.

The hour flew by and the questions came quickly. I was constantly refreshing my Twitter feed excited to see what truth bombs were going to be dropped next. The highlight of the experience for me was my answer to the first question asked, “Have you ever been in a structured or unstructured mentoring relationship? Which is better?” My response was in GIF form and the caption read, “I prefer my mentoring like I prefer my fruit: #mediachat” and it got a lot of traction in a short amount of time. Next thing I knew I had new additions to my follower list that I had won over with a single witty tweet. It was a boost of confidence to get recognition from people with similar interests to me.

So I might have been a skeptic, but I’m a convert to Twitter chats now and look forward to next Thursday’s topic!