Springingtiger's Blog

You & Yours, Social Networking and me on radio.

On Tuesday I was – as usual – listening to Radio 4 in the morning. After they announced that You and Yours was to be about Social Networking and asked for listeners’ experiences I sent them an email.

“I use social networking sites a lot. I have Aspergers and find normal interactions stressful on a good day. Social network sites allow me to communicate with others comfortably. I usually don’t Instant Message because it can be too immediate, but Facebook, Twitter, World Autism Community etc allow me time to process information and to filter my response. I have made friends on line, many of whom rallied round recently when a sudden down-swing had me considering suicide. As well as people with Autism Spectrum Conditions there are others with social disabilities or even suffering from geographical isolation for whom social networking is the best means of maintaining social contact.

Our family is scattered around the world so we find Face Book a great way to keep up to date with each other.”

A few minutes later the BBC phoned (Alex?) to ask if I’d be willing to say the same things on air. I agreed. There were a number of contributors on the phones and so time was short. I had time to reiterate most of my points and to state that social networking is my main form of socialising. I managed to introduce the idea that there is a sizeable online community of people with ASDs, I mentioned online Radio shows and Twitter forums – should that be fora? – sadly without enough time to give specific examples. I wish I had had time to mention by name The Coffee Klatch, Autism Radio UK, and World Autism Community. I knew I wouldn’t have time to mention everyone I’d have liked to, there are a lot of people on my Autism and Technology lists on Twitter! I hadn’t realised how quickly the time would go.

These days politicians are taught to deliver their message in sound-bites to ensure they get their key points across, it’s a skill I wish I had. If I am ever on the radio again with forewarning I will put my most important points up front, as long as the questions allow. I do prefer to be interviewed by email because it allows me the time I need to process the questions fully and formulate a response, but with advance warning it should be possible to prepare for a spoken interview. I do hope this isn’t my last time on air as I rather enjoyed it and am quite excited at the possibilities it presents. I can understand why some people spend their lives in broadcasting it could be fun.


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[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Rory Patton, Rory Patton. Rory Patton said: You & Yours, Social Networking and me on radio. #youandyours #BBCradio4 #autism http://bit.ly/hl2M92 […]

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We were once asked to appear on Radio 2 with Liza Tarbuck. She was a lot of fun and they were very friendly. It was live, although we had talked through the questions beforehand. I hope you get another chance soon, is it on iplayer so we can have a listen?

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