Teen Twitter Takeover Day – Wednesday 27th August, written by Chloe
On Wednesday 27th August I took part, on behalf of MERL, in ‘Teen Twitter Takeover Day’. Organised by Kids in Museums, this was a day designed to promote their national Takeover Day in November, by having teenagers take over the Twitter accounts of museums and related organisations.
To introduce myself, my name is Chloe, and I first came to the museum in summer 2012 after having completed my GCSEs. I knew it was going to be a long summer break, and wanted to do something worthwhile with at least some of it! My favourite subject was (and still is!) history, so I thought it would be a good idea to see a real world application of this. Since I knew I liked museums, what better way to do so than to find out a bit more about how they are run and the different jobs involved? I had a lovely few days at MERL, and admittedly was slightly surprised by how interesting I found the subject of rural life, something I’d never thought about in great depth before. I thought the museum was brilliant, with really interesting exhibits, and great fun events.
After that, I was very grateful to be asked to come back and help at events like Apple Day and the Village Fete, and since then have been returning in school holidays for such events, as well as craft workshops – equally fun for me and the children I attempt to help with their various activities, I think! In October I’m off to start university, but hope to keep returning to the museum when I can. I always have a great time when I visit, especially because everyone I meet is unfailingly welcoming, kind and helpful. So, when asked if I would like to take over the MERL Twitter account for the day, I jumped at the chance!
The day itself began with me successfully navigating various technological barriers with the help of Tom, the marketing intern, in order to log into the MERL Twitter account. Once there, I set about introducing myself, trying to summarise all the information above (1390 characters) in a couple of 140 character tweets!
After a coffee break, I followed the example of other Teen Tweeters and showed the world of twitter my face, in the form of my favourite part of the museum…
I wasn’t lying, I really have always loved dressing up, so finding my favourite part of the museum was embarrassingly easy!
All jokes aside, during the day I also tweeted about the Youth Forum that MERL are launching on Takeover Day in November. Having read up on various sources of information about this before the Twitter Takeover, I knew it was important to spread awareness about it, and twitter is undoubtedly a great way to spread information amongst young people, as well I know. For most of my peers, twitter is the way we keep up to date constantly throughout the day – not only with each other, but also with world news and events. It has infiltrated media outside of its own zone even, with ‘hashtag’ becoming part of spoken language for many. As such, this was clearly a great opportunity for the museum to attract attention to the Youth Forum. Keeping within the 140 character limit proved difficult, but I managed to keep my descriptions concise and direct anyone interested to sources of further information, rather than overload their timelines with a long string of tweets about it!
On the subject of youth groups, I took the chance to ask other teen tweeters about their experiences and what they advised for a youth group, with some interesting responses.
By late afternoon I felt I had tweeted about everything I needed to, and enjoyed some great interactions with other participants. I had a lovely day and was really impressed by how connected and engaged museums are with social media and its power. As a follower of MERL on twitter (of course!) I know they are well versed in the importance of social media for reaching wider audiences, and hopefully this can be used in the future to further encourage young people to visit the museum and get involved in the Youth Forum. Thanks MERL for a great opportunity, I thoroughly enjoyed spending my day on twitter, as many a teenager would!