Twitter is already a fantastic outlet for meeting like-minded people and sharing your thoughts and feelings. People already have a great rapport with many of their followers and many have already sparked up friendships. So what makes the Twitter Buddy Scheme different? Well, I’ve noticed that a lot of people feel very lonely a lot of the time. A phrase exists along the lines of “You feel loneliest when standing amongst a crowd of people”, and it would seem that Twitter has this effect on lots of you.
The Twitter Buddy Scheme hopes to encourage people to reach out to one or two of their followers, (probably someone they already have a good connection with), and to become a familiar, caring figure in that person’s life. It is hoped that your Buddy will be your first port of call when you need some support and that they will hopefully become someone you learn to rely on and can become completely open with in time. It should mean that you can have that one person that will genuinely be there for you. It is hoped that each pair of Buddies will provide a secure environment for each other where there will be no taboo subjects, no judgement, no rejection; just pure, honest friendship.
It can be a daunting prospect for many people to be completely open and honest with another person, but the idea is that you build up a connection over time and the level of openess can be at a level suited to each pair - for some this may simply be checking in every now & again so that you know you’re not alone; and for others it may be daily contact or could even lead to a life-long friendship.
Whether you chat openly via tweets or privately via Direct Message (DM) is up to each pair of Buddies, but please ensure that you chat via DM only when sharing personal details or any information that you wish to be kept private. Over time, people may want to swap to email, Skype or even phonecalls. This is fine, but again, please be careful and responsible when swapping contact details. TRUST IS KEY.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What if I really need some support but my Buddy is unavailable? It is not expected for Buddies to be online 24/7, but more to be a constant, reliable source of friendship and support. So even if you don’t get a reply until 12hrs later because of work, time zone differences, or sleeping, you will always get a reply eventually and you can be reassured that it is because that person WANTS to reply and genuinely cares about you, rather than someone feeling it is their duty to do so.
I want to be a Buddy, but I am not online very often, is this okay? You can still be a Buddy if you’re not online much, as any amount of support you can provide will be invaluable to the person receiving it, but each Buddy needs to make their availability and expectations clear from the start. If Buddies feel pressured to be online more than they usually are that will leave both parties feeling inadequate and disappointed, as will making your Buddy feel bad for not responding immediately.
Can I have more than one Buddy? It is fine to have more than one Buddy, and in fact in some cases this would be encouraged in order to provide potential around-the-clock care, but please make sure you don’t have more Buddies than you can cope with - you want to be able to give your Buddy your full time and attention when needed.
How do I get paired with my Buddy? There are two easy ways to get paired with a Buddy. Firstly, you can approach your followers and offer your Buddying services to them - this is particularly good if you have certain people in mind that you would like to be a Buddy for. Secondly, you can tweet under the hashtag #TwitterBuddyScheme stating your willingness to be a Buddy.
TWITTER BUDDY SCHEME TEMPLATES
Invitation for Requests - I am happy to be a Buddy #TwitterBuddyScheme
General Request - I would like for someone to be my Buddy #TwitterBuddyScheme
Direct Request - I am very interested in being your Buddy. It is perfectly ok for you to decline this request
Declining Requests - Unfortunately I have already reached my Buddy limit and therefore I have to decline your request
PLEASE REMEMBER that this is not an official service, nor are Buddies trained. This is simply a way of connecting people at a more personal level so that everybody has the chane to feel worthwhile and cared about because EVERYBODY deserves that.
Sophie, Founder - @oxymoronic82