It’s true. I use ‘social media’ regularly, though I have yet to create a Twitter account. When I do I won’t tell you my #name, but reserve the right to just creep on #others (don’t you love the phrases that are now part of our everyday vocabulary?!)
I know not everyone is enamored with Facebook and Reddit and Twitter and Tumblr and Pinterest and whatevertheheck is out there I have yet to hear about. But, there are plenty of good sides and benefits to cyber connecting. The negatives abound, but I’m not choosing to focus on those here. There’s enough scary press and conniving advertisers and data hungry machines out there to make anyone want to become a hermit. The NSA might discover that you eat dark chocolate, drink craft brew, like searching for Petoskey stones and listen to The Rabid Raccoons, but life is a risk and often, risks are worth taking.
This week my favorite stomping grounds were devastated by water and mud. The epic Colorado floods have damaged dreams and taken out lives and property. I don’t live nearby, but I have family and friends who do, so I am watching closely. When cell phones and landlines and other services were down, towns and businesses and resorts took to Twitter and Facebook to notify thousands! Kids on field trips in the mountains were safe, but stranded, and FB came to the rescue to notify parents that pizza and charades were happening. FB shared times for community meetings and road closures and helped relatives to know that family was safe. This was good. Very good.
I can’t use the phone. I’m trying with this CI now, but not successfully yet. For years I haven’t been very good at ‘lunch dates’ or ‘parties’ or ‘coffee shops’ or pretty much any other venue where live people tend to congregate. Social networking is a way for me to not feel quite so isolated in my silent little world. I’m grateful. FB and texting and email are how people know to reach me and until I learn to use the telephone again (or IF), it’s still important for me to have these technologies to simply communicate.
Happily, sometimes, personal connections come FROM cyber space. I love that! I had girlfriends show up at my house for several days because we met again on FB. What a blast that was! I stayed with a friend in England because we met again on FB. I’m getting wise advise from other CI users all over the world because we have a group on FB. I post my digital art for feedback and offer it to others via social networking. I found my childhood BFF on FB! The list goes on and on…
Encouragement. Growth. Face to face connections. Keeping up with far flung family and friends. Sharing photos and opinions and memories. It’s all out there. Your list would be different, of course. But I’m grateful for the positives. This week I am trying to find a college sorority sister so I can meet her in Chicago next week. I think I found her daughter on Facebook, so I’m hopeful that will lead to brunch. Just sayin’.