Five Years of Twitter Chats

imgresThis Thursday, March 8th, 2018 will mark my fifth year facilitating a live a Twitter chat. The topics have evolved in that time from the first chat focused on #GunControlPolicy in the wake of the Newtown Incident to Economic Inequality. This Thursday I will be once again facilitating the chat on Economic Inequality in partnership with the folks at #MacroSW and hope that you will all join us. You can find out more about the chat, which also uses the Film Inequality for All as a centerpiece for discussion, by visiting

Looking back over the past five years I have been wondering what this conversation has actually accomplished? Dr. Laurel Hitchcock and I have published some findings in Social Work Education: The International Journal, which demonstrates that students do benefit from the Live chats. However, I can’t help but feel like the discourse in the United States has changed, in part because of social media and in part because of our current state of affairs. I think it is telling that the first chat was centered on Gun Control Policy and here five years later there has been little to no progress on that front. As social workers, even as a society I think we should be able to do better. This does not imply that having a discussion, whether on Twitter or some other form, is ineffective. Rather, I think it points to the fact that we should be discussing more and that we should be trying harder to implement positive social change. I would say that we are doing better in having the discussion on hard topics that were once very hidden and that is progress.

Progress usually comes about through small incremental steps and I feel like too often we are looking for some grand amazing change that we can all point to as success or failure. It’s more complicated than that, which I would hope we can realize is part of the reason why we must persist in our efforts. Thankfully, many amazing social workers and other change agents continue to persist and change the status quo. For example, #MacroSW now offers weekly Live Twitter Chats on a variety of topics. You have the opportunity to engage, listen, and work to enact positive social change. With a Twitter chat? Yes!!! Change has to begin somewhere and it starts with you, me, us.

The problems facing society are great and complex, but that does not mean we should sit back, toss our arms up and simply give up. I understand that some get burnt out and that change is hard. Change is incredibly hard but totally worth it. I hope that you will join us this Thursday at 6pm Central/ 9pm Eastern Standard Time for a chat about Economic Inequality, but I hope that you will stay and become engaged in whatever topic you are passionate about because we need you, and if you are unsure about how to get engaged then just come and listen or “lurk” on the conversation until you are comfortable enough to engage. I hope you will find something of value with our community.

About jimmysw
Assistant Professor of Social Work with a focus on Social Media, Social Work Education and all things technology.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: