My latest time-suck: Twitter Chats

“Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.”~Mark Twain, American author

Twitter.  8pm or 9pm EST.  ‘Nuff said.

In my quest to keep up with my social media here, I find the time not to check Twitter is at 8 or 9pm EST. That is when the Twitter Chats come alive.

Twitter chats are themed meetups where people discuss a particular topic and then quickly get off-topic, which is what makes these things so addictive. If you imagine Twitter as one, big hotel, Chats are separate rooms identified by specific hashtags similar to room numbers. Anyone can join in the discussion as long as you know the hashtag. There’s probably a list out there of common Twitter chats I’d enjoy, but I experience enough of a time-suck as it is because I’m constantly stumbling on them.

When I see someone I’m following using a particular hashtag over and over and over, especially in rapid-fire posts, I click on that hashtag to see what what’s going on in that room. This is why I’m not going to seek out a Twitter list; the discovery is half the surprise. There are two that I regularly follow when I can. This week, I calendared three new ones for next week.


Showcasing one of my bookshelves in the #RockMyTBR Twitter Chat

The topics of Chats stay consistent while changing to keep it fresh. The #RockMyTBR (Saturdays 9pm EST) is a network of readers hosted by @thebooktraveler and @melanielost celebrating each other’s piles of books To Be Read. I just discovered #k8chat (Thursdays, 9pm EST) hosted by @K8Tilton where discussion revolves around topics of building worlds in your book, publishing and other topics of valuing yourself and your writing. #StoryDam is an online writing community who gather with @StoryDam (Thursdays, 8pm EST) to motivate writers to write their stories and offer advice how to move past the struggles that prevent writing. Oh, there was another new one I engaged in: #CraveChat by @CornerBakery. That’s an afternoon one (Wednesdays 1pm EST), and I haven’t figured that topic yet because I keep diving in to the conversation midway. There’s always talk of coffee and pastries. Good enough for me.

Topics are what draw people in to gather and commune. The host plans out questions to ask, and posts them using the intro Q1 or Q2 or whatever the number a particular question is. People respond to that specific question by starting Tweets off with A1 or A2 or whatever corresponds to the question. Then people get off-topic, and that’s where the “social” part of social media kicks in.

Many chats start off with virtual tea or coffee. Some have cookies. Some combine wine with chocolate. Notice how everyone’s become off-topic before the fun even begins?

What do I get from all of this, besides a major time-suck of my evenings? I discover new friends and followers, find new blogs, discuss new books, gain motivation and inspiration, learn techniques and tips, and eat a lot of virtual snacks. All that is good for my mind and my waistline.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ms. Marcie
    Jan 15, 2016 @ 19:07:08

    I feel you. I fully participated in my first one on Monday and I couldn’t believe how quickly time flew. They are fun and good for your mind and waistline.


    • D.W. Hirsch
      Jan 18, 2016 @ 13:33:02

      Intense, aren’t they? I didn’t expect my first one to be that. These, well, I’m becoming used to them :) and they don’t rattle me as much. My best tip: follow what you can.
      You can’t answer/reply to everyone (sad, but true), but finding a few tweeps to follow eases the “stress” of the rapid-fire conversations.


  2. Arlee Bird
    Jan 18, 2016 @ 01:06:46

    A to Z chats start on the 28th of this month I believe it is. Watch the A to Z Blog for details to come soon. You can come join in there too!

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out
    Wrote By Rote


    • D.W. Hirsch
      Jan 18, 2016 @ 13:35:40

      Oh…my…gosh…More chats?!? ACK!!
      Can Twitter chats count as writing not procrastination?
      And wow, did time fly here: it’s already almost A-to-Z time.


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