On being @Bristol52

For those of you who don’t do or understand Twitter some of this won’t make sense but briefly Twitter is a microblogging network where you express thoughts and opinions in 140 characters or less per “tweet”. It’s a place where friendships can be made and where friendships can be broken. Boundaries that would be recognised in reality are sometimes ignored to extremes and this results in delightful people called “trolls”. They’re basically nasty little people who are powerless, impotent, lonely and will attack anyone or anything. A woman running a fan tweet account for an actor got extremely hysterical and threatening because I had the cheek not to fall at the man’s feet in orgasmic appreciation of his alleged talents. These people get a lot of publicity in one way or another. They don’t deserve it.

What you don’t get to hear enough is how wonderful and warm Twitter can be. You do hear of campaigns to get something changed or to find some dog or other but what you don’t hear about is the sense of community and support that comes from forming online friendships. Lives are changed. People meet in real life (tweet ups) and never lose touch.

What’s come to my attention recently is the curated accounts. Basically this is a way of supporting a cause, city, country etc. with the perspective of many people. @Bristol52 is about people living and working in Bristol in the west of England and the tweets are as diverse as the city.

I’ve had the privilege of tweeting the @Bristol52 account this week. I stepped in at the last minute having had to give up my scheduled spot for later in the year. I was thrilled to do it and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

I wanted to show people my part of the city in a good light so I’ve tweeted about Windmill Hill City Farm where I’m lead volunteer photographer. I can’t work anymore so to be able to take photos that the farm can use to promote their wonderful work is a great thing to do. I also wanted to talk about mental health. I have a form of Bipolar Disorder that is extreme, painful and eats into my life in a hugely destructive way. It’s because of this I wanted to tell people that poor mental health is something that doesn’t affect the majority of people and that we are people first and foremost. I knew that the week would have a knock on effect in my life and it’s that what I’m really blogging about.

I cannot manage to look after myself really well most of the time. Whatever I do is at the expense of something else. I have poor time management skills and what little I do have seem to slip away from me at a rate of knots when I’m stressed whether the stress is negative or positive.

This week as curator of the @Bristol52 account has stretched me much more than I thought it would. I’m exhausted both physically and mentally and I’m really looking forward to a day of nothingness tomorrow. I’m actually going to enjoy doing all those little chores that you leave until you have no choice but to do them.

My eating habits are totally wrecked but a few days at home cooking for the freezer will sort that out. I have a pile of laundry that is taller than the Shard and I’m not a teenage boy. Similarly my kitchen looks as though a group of teenagers have swept through there. It will all sort itself out though as long as I remember that it’s small stuff and you should never sweat the small stuff.

I’ve met some great tweeters online this week and met a few of them in real life too. I have had my cynical streak tempered a little but, without a doubt, that won’t last.
On the whole I’m glad I’ve done the week. It’s been fun, informative, friendly and fabulous. In a small way I wish that I hadn’t done it as I’m tired and I’ve got a lot of catching up to do sleep wise. I underestimated the effect that the week had upon my health and with hindsight perhaps it’s something I shouldn’t have done. Having that hindsight would I do it again? Oh yes!

@WeirdSid @Bristol52

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