Twitter Provides Support to the Lonely During Christmas

Twitter users have started a new hashtag on the micro-blogging platform which connects people who are spending Christmas alone at their homes.

According to Sydney Morning Herald, the hashtag #xmasathome was conceived after a Twitter discussion on how Christmas can be a difficult time for people if they are spending it alone, without being surrounded by family and friends.

The discussion started when a women who had been trying to have a baby for the last three years tweeted that Christmas was difficult for her because it reminded her of family.

The hashtag was created by Monash University sociologist and Twitter user Samantha Thomas, Melbourne communications consultant Stephanie Philbrick and Twitter user @prestontowers, who had created the #nyeathome hashtag last year after finding himself alone on New Year's Eve.

The #xmasathome hashtag was trending in the UK and Australia soon after it was created, with many people joining the virtual Christmas party.

"We even have seen a number of people through #xmasathome saying we have a spare seat at the table, anyone who is alone can come to our house. One of the things we are always told about is how the internet is breaking down social ties and connectivity, but we are actually seeing how positive it can be", said Samantha Thomas.