Social media. Are you still scared of it? Or are you immersed in it way over your head? Well, the way I see it there should be a middle way. I resisted the idea of making contact with the world this way – Twitter and Facebook – for quite a while. I wasn’t ready to be out there exposing my thoughts. What if people didn’t like what I had to say, what if my comments will attract some odd comments, what if I simply won’t like it? I am now confident enough to say "So what? I’ll get over it and they’ll get over it. Life goes on either way".
I signed up for Facebook mostly to escape nagging from friends to be honest. And then, I ‘bumped” into old friends. People who meant something to me and still do. And then made some new friends. People who now mean something to me. And my thoughts are there, part of my life is shared with my friends and, I have to say, I love it. I am not scared of it anymore. What I love about it? Getting support from many and being able to support my friends when they need it, keeping up with their projects, ideas and sharing mine too. Privacy settings are of course, a must. A social media playground can be a safe one if your settings are right.
And then along came the Twitter wagon. Somewhat later than it did for the rest of the world but hey, the important part is that I’m there. I jumped on and still riding in style. My first “tweet” was shy and unconvincing. But then I figured I just don’t need to convince anyone of anything. I’ll share thoughts, ideas, links to things that mean something to me and not for the purpose of impressing people but for communicating with people.
And here I am, a couple of months later, feeling grateful for having met some amazing people – I am not using amazing here lightly at all – during my social media incursions, loving the connection I have with them and looking forward to more great connecting with them and others.
But, and this is a big BUT: I do not carry my social media with me everywhere. When I want to spend time with my family I am just with them. When I want to share thoughts and ideas with my social media group I do so. I feel in control. I love the rush of being connected like I am, but I love that I can have the addiction-to-social-media beast still tamed. I intend to keep it that way.
Back to my question: It is real? And my answer is: Yes, it is. If I take away the fluff that is after all inherent to such social congregations, I see meaningful relationships forming, relationships that help me grow. I see people who inspire me just like I hope I inspire them. For now I don’t think it can get more real than that.