THE BLOG

Am I a Periscope Silent Weirdo?

05/08/2015 15:42 BST | Updated 03/08/2016 10:59 BST

Seen first on The Giggles Family

So you've probably heard of periscope, hailed as the new social network, but been bamboozled by it. At least I was until I downloaded it.

I'd better explain before I go any further. Basically its a phone app where you can either talk to others live on video, or watch others talking. It's like walking into a London bar. Every age, every subject, every scene (some not too savoury), and very funny. People who are watching, check in so their periscope name comes up on the screen. They can chat through typing short messages which come up on the screen for the group to see and the Perscoper can respond, through chatting away on the video screen.

I set up my profile and became one of those quiet weirdos just watching at first. I say weirdos. You're not weird if you watch, but if you're the one talking live on screen, it's pretty unnerving to see you have ten watchers and only one talking to you. It leaves me wondering "who are these people!?"

But perhaps they are like I was. Peering in, working out what all the fuss was about and not quite sure if I found it uncomfortable or invigorating.

Cheered on by seeing others doing it regularly (I figured there must be something good about this then), I tried my first one.....and had one watcher...a bloody silent one! To be honest even though I had just introduced myself and blathered on for 30 seconds before I chickened out, I felt seedy.

As time went on though, others joined. Friends or people I had chatted to on twitter. It normalized it. Suddenly it wasn't a dirty secret or something people looked with a mixture of confused and horrified over when I asked if they'd heard of it. They were instead telling me their favourite Periscopers, that someone vlogged a great local restaurant on it, a motivational speech or a comedy couple they find hilarious. It became fun.

Tonight, after being asked a few times to do a YouTube grocery haul on my channel (to be honest I feel a little piece of me would die having to edit that), I gave in and Periscoped it. I shocked myself.

This is what I learnt:

1. I am more confident when I know that the video isn't being saved on Youtube.

2. I am a sucker for the hearts (you'll understand when you try it!)

3. Being live can be kind of invigorating. I find I am much more myself because there is no editing and you can't stop your mouth going (which also means the potty mouth can't be avoided)

4. Its fun to have a live chat. It's rubbish when people don't talk back!

5. I can totally see where this could be really positive for brands. For example last week we Persicoped our walk around John Lewis. Viewers could see the products, ask questions and shop in a new way from home.

6. Its instant. At a festival like My Two Mums? Feeling on a high with great news? Waiting outside a coffee shop scared to go in and meet your date like Kristen Anderson? Share it with a group of like minded watchers to be sociable, to celebrate and to get advice.

7. You need to take safety seriously. I wouldn't use the location function at all personally, even though it isn't completely accurate. I just don't see the need to give that away, when it could in my eyes be dodgy.

8. I prefer to use the "delete replay" function. If you don't, new viewers can watch your video for 24 hours after its finished. If you do, they can't. Simples. It just makes me feel weird to think people are watching that I can't engage with ya know.

9. You can watch some seriously funny things and random things from anywhere in the world.

10. Some periscopes can be uplifting like the motivational chats by Michael Cedar.https://twitter.com/michaeliancedar

11. People freaking love grocery hauls!