Thursday, August 11, 2011

Social Media and the Real World

A friend of mine once said, "I have no time for Facebook and Twitter. Those things are for losers who have no friends."

Au contraire, mon frere. I have to admit that I too, felt that way in the beginning. Things all changed for me a few years ago, when I began blogging and freelancing though. In fact, the social media world has become part of my "real" world.  I have been able to come into contact with people I wouldn't have otherwise crossed paths with. I've made lasting friendships and have secured contracts with companies and small businesses. The social media world is nothing that I imagined it would be. It's even become part of my bread and butter. Well, not really. I do have a full-time job teaching ESL. The freelance contracts are things I do on the side. Still, it's been keeping me busy!

Certain myths I'd like to bust:
1. People on the internet are all introverted computer geeks with no social skills. I'm sure some are, but the majority of people I've met are quite the opposite. What people don't understand is that social media helps boost your number of followers and maintain a "relationship" with your followers. It's the opposite of being anti-social. I've met a few bloggers and Tweeters in person, and it's like hanging out with friends I've known all my life!

2. Online relationships are so impersonal.
Again, I disagree. I've become close to some very interesting, intelligent, amazing people via Twitter and the blog. Friends (like Canine Cologne, PhotoCaptiva, and others) have become part of our family. I have just as good a relationship with them as I do with friends I've known from college, university, working abroad, and from work. We visit each other, send each other birthday and Christmas's the opposite of impersonal.

3. You can't trust people you meet online.
Sure. Use caution when meeting people. Don't divulge all your information to everyone. Just be smart and be safe. This said, most people I've "met" are just like me. Work-from-home or working-online-on-the-side people who use social media to help grow their businesses and and increase work opps.

I wouldn't tell you to just invite some random person into your house. We've done it, but after getting to know people for a while. When Gingermommy mentioned that Mapledipped was going on a cross-Canada tour, shooting photos of people she meets in her coast to coast travels, I told her she should come to Manitoulin Island. It's one of Canada's hidden gems. In fact, it's so hidden, most people have never even heard of it!

Mapledipped and I organized her trip to Manitoulin Island, where she camped out on our farm, photographed some of the locals, and hung out with us for a few days. It was like visiting with an old friend. Not awkward at all! You're probably wondering if I was relieved that she wasn't some psycho ax murderer. After corresponding with people for a while, you get a feel for them. If I had even the slightest doubt or bad feeling about meeting up, I wouldn't do it. You just know.

What's your take on social media? How involved are you in the social media scene?

Check out Naomi Harris's take on social media and traveling in Canada Goose.  

Pssst! Check out that family in the second photograph. Recognize them? :)


Mom vs. the boys said...

great post. it's true, I find that I have to way more social online than I am in real life because things are always moving at a faster speed online. I can't wait to meet some of the lovely ladies I talk to everyday online

C said...

Mom vs. the boys:
I agree. You're on my "Must Meet IRL" list, btw! :) There are so many tweeps I'd love to meet. Some I chat with on a daily basis. They've all offered such support when I was on bed rest with my pregnancy and then while in NICU with preemie baby. That's basically when I really started blogging regularly. They continue to be regular fixtures in our lives. Funny how that happens, isn't it? :)

Frau Guten Tag said...

I totally agree!! I used to be anti-myspace but later signed on (& then later moved to facebook when all the rest of my friends did) & I find I am able to stay in touch with friends & family much better this way. Ive never been a phone person so I am far more social by using fb. And I love that Ive formed really great friendships with some people online.

Annie said...

It only took us 5 or 6 years to actually meet IRL!!!
I can't wait to get together again!!!!

caninecologne said...

hi c- thanks for the shoutout! when we met, it was like we'd been friends our whole lives. i mean that.

i'm glad you didn't turn out to be an axe murderer when we came up to visit you! :) seriously though, i'm so glad we met thru lotus's blog and became friends over the past 4 years. we've shared a lot of our milestones together, especially 2008.

i'm a socially selective hermit and i prefer not to be on facebook. i don't want people to find me. if i didn't care about them back then, i don't care about them now. i still think people collect "friends" on fb are lonely losers. but whatever, to each their own.

i also don't do twitter becuase, as you can see, i cannot contian my thought in 140 characters or less. doing blogger takes up enough of my time so i don't need feel i need fb or twitter at all.

ok, rant over.

word ver:


Shannon said...

Hi! I'm back in the blogging world. I got lost in facebook for a while but missed my bloggy world. I hope you can stop by for a visit some time! I agree with what you have said. Having moved so far from my home and my family I really appreciate fb for keeping in touch and up to date with those far away. I also found that I missed the blog friends I had made. They are a different friend but no less special. They share your day to day life and look forward to updates. I am glad that your babe is so healthy and happy and that you and yours have adjusted so well to parenthood. I look forward to seeing more of your yummy recipes again :-)

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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