Write about how your life would change if there was no social media (suggested by Christina). Ironically I’m responding to this hypothetical situation via a blog post, but here we go. If there was no social media, how would my life change? First, let’s look at what social media means to me. I spend a great deal of time using social media, both professionally and personally. I practically live on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Path, Pinterest, Foursquare, Instagram, Tumblr, well, you get the picture. I’ve said it before, I love social media.
I think I initally got hooked on communicating with others via the Internet in college, when I was introduced to Telnet chat rooms freshman year. It was 1994 and I was an introverted 18 year-old, so the idea of being able to “talk” to other people by writing (or typing) my thoughts instead of speaking them was incredibly appealing. I’ve always felt I was a better communicator through writing, than speaking. I spent many hours that year, glued to the computer, meeting people from all over and having intriguing conversations with them.
Fast forward to the year 2005. I was pregnant with my first child and seeking information about pregnancy and childbirth through websites like BabyCenter and BabyZone. I ended up on their message boards and connected with women whose due dates were the same month as mine. From a group of hundreds, approximately 40 of us migrated over to a private message board, called “Beyond Moms”, and began sharing information about our pregnancies and also about our lives. It was an amazing support system that even lead to in person gatherings after our babies were born. Still today, I consider many of these women close friends and have enjoyed following their life journies for the past 8 years. One day, maybe we’ll even have a group called, “Beyond Grandmoms”.
I joined Facebook in 2008 after a friend suggested it. Then I joined Twitter in 2009, after hearing about it on the radio. These platforms were my introduction into the world we know as “social media”. Through these social media tools, I’ve learned a lot about communication, technology, and information sharing. I’ve also learned a lot about people, especially myself. Social media has increased my self confidence and given me a voice in the world. It’s encouraged me to meet new people through Tweetups and other social networking gatherings. I think it has even turned me into an extrovert, given my last score on the Myers-Briggs personality test (ENTJ).
I have formed many invaluable relationships in my life. Some because they were family, some because we met in school, some because we met through work, but many more started simply through the words typed on a computer screen. So without social media, my life would certainly be a lot emptier.
It wouldn’t have you.