Sarah Millican (yes, the Geordie comedian) started the #JoinIn Twitter chat in 2010 for those who are alone at Christmas. It’s a chat for those who haven’t chosen to be alone, but everyone joins in anyway!
It’s a chat to defeat the loneliness that people can feel at Christmas because they are alone, through no fault of their own. Being alone at Christmas is not always a choice. Some people have no other option but to be alone and it’s sad.
We can see the impact of social media around us. It’s sometimes negative – what with expletives left, right and centre, the commodification of bodies in advertisements plastered on the screen and of course, trolls.
But social media can have a positive impact and that’s what the chat is designed to do – to create positivity on a day where so many can feel alone among the jolliness, happiness and direct frivolity of Christmas Day. It bears a thought for those that need our thoughts most.
The Join In chat continues to be successful. I’ve been a lurker since I joined Twitter in 2013, but I joined in this year and spoke to many people. I spoke to people about my day but I also spoke to people about their daily lives – about how it was to be alone at Christmas and I offered my help in the form of a tweet.
I told people that I was available to chat if anyone wanted to talk. A big move telling strangers that I can talk to them if they need me? Of course not, I was opening my heart to those who wanted company, even if it meant a tweet at the end of the phone.
Think about those that don’t have social media – the older people sitting at home watching the day go by. They are lonely and they don’t have access to Join Me. It made me think of those people but if I was helping one person feel like they had a companion then I was happy.
You wouldn’t want to be alone at Christmas, so why should they be alone?
It’s also for those that aren’t alone but are lonely and those who wish they were alone. (There are some people who want to be alone and that’s okay).
Sarah starts the conversations after Santa has been and that’s when Twitter descends into a frenzy of people talking on the hashtag. Whether it’s what they got for Christmas or what they had for Christmas lunch. Christmas TV is also a highlight of the chat!
Non-topical conversations are allowed too of course.
Sometime’s Sarah joins in with conversations and other times, she lets the conversation develop itself.
Sarah isn’t just the funny female comedian from the land of the Geordies, she’s an innovative, social media leader in the quest to beat loneliness.
What more could you want at Christmas than a bit of company and a mince pie or two?
You can check out the # (hashtag) here.
Have you heard of #JoinIn before? What do you think of it? Let me know below or on my social media! Remember I have Twitter too!