Now let me tell you something, as chaotic as it first seemed, I really was impressed by how the structure of the Space made for easy facilitation on my part.
I was able to mute people if needed, but I never needed to.
Up to 10 people can have “speaker” status at a time, and I could see when others wanted to speak.
It warmed my heart to hear the voices of people I only have ever known through their written words.
I’ve become quite close with some of the people who joined, tweeting and messaging with them on a weekly basis.
So it was so nice to hear their voices and get the nuance behind their tweets.
One of the attendees was a really nice guy from South Dakota.
He’s messaged me to ask questions in the past, and I can tell he might look up to me.
I never know how to feel about this because I still think of myself as a normal guy who just tweets about his passions.
But I have to remember that all the people who use Twitter are human beings at the end of the day.
He spoke of his desire to help others by sharing his stories.
He spoke from the heart, and he encouraged others when they spoke.
In fact, almost everyone who spoke always started their statements by thanking the previous person for their courage and candor.
I had goosebumps almost the entire 30-minute conversation.
In fact, I have goosebumps now.
And I think it has to do with how vulnerable everyone was. And how articulately they shared their concerns.
It didn’t devolve into heated arguments, even when people spoke with fiery passion about what had happened to them as they tried to seek mental health care.
For most of the Space, 16-18 people were in the room.
That’s amazing to me, that so many people would engage with strangers on a Monday night. About MENTAL HEALTH.
There was even a woman from Yemen who apologized that English was not her first language.
She spoke slowly and haltingly at times, but she made an excellent point that stigma does not just stop when people have more knowledge. She talked about how, in her culture, people are actually quite educated about mental health, but there’s still a lot of stigma.
It really made me think.
The whole event made me think.
Because I started it not knowing what I was doing, but by the end of it I had developed a new skill–facilitating an audio space with previous strangers.
I tried to give everyone who wanted to speak a chance to speak.
I tried to inject humor when appropriate.
For instance, someone with the Twitter handle, “We are all weirdos” wanted to say something right before I had to end the event.
I thought it would be a perfect segue to closing thoughts before we wrapped up and went our separate ways.
Because we all were weirds, random people who decided to join an audio chat room about mental health on Twitter.
And it was a great closing.
It got some laughs, both audio laughs from those with speaking status and some laughing emojis 😂 as well.
It was a wonderful experience hosting my first Twitter Space.