Seriously. I think it is a marvelous tool. And when used properly... hammers for nails, paring knives for apples, seam rippers for seams... you get the idea... when used properly social media can be great.
I am reminded of a woman I was introduced to... when the mutual acquaintance mentioned that I blog and use FB she actually grimaced. Then she made a sweeping motion at me with her hand, and said, "I will never. Do you actually communicate this way with your friends?"
And you know how the right answer usually pops in your head two hours later, in the shower? This time I was happy to readily speak in my own defense, and reply: "Yes! It's terrific. I can stay in touch with people from all over the world. I can discover interests we share in common, and discuss issues that we don't agree on. It's a practical way to manage schedules and events that my children are involved in, while showing support for schools, and causes." And when I saw that she was firmly unconvinced I fell on my sword and added, "And my husband and I love to chat with each other, sometimes even while we are home, together."
_Because what more absurd, silly, superficial thing could two people do but engage with each other at any time of the day, for any reason?_
Seriously, again, our lives are not the same as they were ten, twenty, one hundred years ago. But we are still social beings. I love face to face real time communication, but the circumstances of our lives make it impossible for me to share boba and literature with Tarie, in the Philippines. Social media brings my brother's lives closer, even when they are half a world away. I am no less capable of seeing friends in person, listening, and engaging in the "real" world. But my social world, my life, is enriched by all the resources available. I imagine there was a time, a century ago, when people grimaced at the new fangled thing they were calling a telephone, but in my teens I could make ten cents last for hours, and the time I spent chatting with Geoff was priceless, so why would I miss the chance to engage with him today, in whatever way I can?
Yes! I agree! So glad you had that wonderful answer ready on the tip of your tongue. I love your openness and your curiosity to try new things, even this newfangled social media thang :)
Hi Natalie, I'm coming out of a bit of a blog funk...it's nice to see someone sing the praises of Facebook et al. It gets such a bad rap from all the nitwits who air every stupid thought, event and photo to an audience of thousands. I have only 70-some friends--real friends--who I really want to keep tabs on. I'm planning to meet up with my 5 erstwhile college roomies for our (gulp) 20th reunion this summer, and I wonder if I'd still be in touch with them if not for FB.
Twitter, on the other hand, I just don't get. :)
I would have really struggled to uproot my life and go live in Spain if not for the comfort of social networking. I have all my friends - plus new ones! - and can chat, keep up to date, share sillies and just generally feel much closer than I really am. I remember coming to live for a year in Spain about 17 years ago and struggling to afford the expensive phone calls home that always were cut short due to finances. Now, with SKYPE, I can talk as long as I want with family and friends. We are really lucky, we people who love to talk and communicate!! Axxxx
Being able to reconnect with old friends (which would never have been possible otherwise), stay connected with far-away family, keep current with friends, and MAKE new friends is an absolute gift; social media and blogging have made my life so much richer.
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