Autism Flash Follow #AutismFlashFollow

 

Flash follow

 

As Autism month draws to a close I am feeling a growing sense of emptiness.

To begin with I thought it was just burnout after tweeting all day during #WorldAutismAwarenessDay

But this has been building in me all month.

Something was missing and I finally found it:

Hidden in plain view.

 

Autism month

April in the Autism community is designated with a number of different suffixes.

  • No, this isn’t a post about suffixes or factions or division

This post is about inclusion.

There have been plenty of initiatives during Autism month that are intended to improve the quality of life of Autistic people/People with autism

Broadly speaking the initiatives have 2 main goals:

  • Telling our story
  • Expressing our dissatisfaction/disappointment/anger

and these are entirely understandable and valid actions, all of which I am assuming good intentions for.

The main reason why I think I am feeling this sense of emptiness, is that much of what I was reading was ‘me‘ focused.

  • whether expressed individually or as part of a group initiative
  • via social media and/or IRL

This isn’t meant as a criticism and lest any of you should think that I am pointing fingers, I would point the first fingers at me!

I am feeling empty because of the people in the Autism community who are left out and are feeling left out this month.

 

The Forgotten

My World Autism Project initiative was established to raise the profile of people in the World Autism community with little or no social media profile.

It seems to draw far more interest from the non-English speaking autism community, which is understandable.

But there is another part of the Autism community with much greater social media representation, that is virtually invisible!

These are the people who are following me and you and who have very few followers.

What have we been doing to make sure that these people are included?

  • I don’t know

What have I been doing to make sure that these people are included?

  • Nothing! Until last Friday

 

Hidden in plain view

Take a moment to check your mentions, favorites and retweets on Twitter.

Like me, you will probably discover people that you have never interacted with, perhaps even unknown to you.

  • Many of these will have fewer than 100 followers

I wonder how accepted they feel this month as they watch me and other well known bloggers and tweeps, broadcasting our stories and our grievances?

There is a mass of people on the fringes of the Autism social media community.

It’s easy for those who are active in social media to forget, that most people in the Autism social media community are not active bloggers and tweeters.

  • I am certainly guilty of this form of social media myopia!
  • as I approach my first anniversary in Autism social media
  • with around 1800 followers
  • and 70 something posts

 

Follow Friday

Last Friday I chose to follow and #FF a large number of Tweeps with low follower numbers.

  • I was surprised to discover that some of them were already following me!

I did this entirely on impulse, with no planning.

Borne out of an overwhelming belief that for Autism April to have any real meaning, for me at least, we need to include these people.

  • and we are running out of time

 

#AutismFlashFollow

I am calling on the Autism community to join with me in reaching out to those who are going unnoticed on Twitter (and other social media platforms)

Could you commit to following 5 or 10 of these autism tweeps each day, through the end of April?

  • maybe beyond April too?

Start with reviewing your mention, favs and retweets.

  • it takes just a few seconds

Check out autism followers you aren’t following back.

  • Follow them back
  • Tweet that you are now following them

There are plenty of free applications that will automate this checking for you.

Use the hashtag: #AutismFlashFollow

  • Use this week to get the hang of it:

 

Then on Friday, let’s raise the roof with an #AutismFlashFollow #FF

 

What’s in it for me?

If you are asking this question, then this may not be for you.

Because this isn’t about me, or you, or ‘us’, it is about them.

Let’s take all our collective goodwill and good intentions, our intellect and passion and magnify it OUT

  • onto someone else
  • for the benefit of someone else
  • let them know that we see them
  • let them know that we care
  • let them know that they belong
  • let them know that April belongs to them too
  • let them know that they are accepted

#FF

#AutismFlashFollow

 

 

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. A Quiet Week
    Apr 28, 2013 @ 08:23:07

    I love this idea! I just got back from vacation and am getting caught up in my life. But I am going to do this. what a lovely idea! 🙂

    Reply

  2. mindretrofit8
    Apr 28, 2013 @ 18:00:25

    This is a great idea! I want to participate, but I am not very good with Twitter at all. For some reason I get confused by it and it makes no sense. It seems like it would be easier for me. :-/ What application could I use that would make it easier for me? Do you know one off the top of your head?

    Reply

  3. Katrina Moody
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 07:59:48

    I try to go through and follow/mention those who interact with me – unfortunately I can’t get to everyone. But you’re right – it’s important to recognize that not everyone in the community will have the big follower numbers, etc but they still deserve to have their voice within the community. I’ll try harder!

    Reply

  4. AutismMumma
    May 02, 2013 @ 06:59:10

    What a great idea, I do my follow-backs about once a week and usually follow back 100%, they’ve reached out for a reason, it’s only right to acknowledge. I reply to every mention to and thank each RT.

    Reply

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