June 8, 2011

Social Networking.

Main Entry:   social networking
Part of Speech:   n
Definition:   the use of a website to connect with people who share personal or professional interests, place of origin, education at a particular school, etc.

It seems like people always like to jump on the bandwagon of hating someone.  Sometimes it’s gurus, sometimes it’s bloggers, and sometimes it’s “social networking pros.”  While I have been on Facebook and Twitter, I have heard some comments regarding social networking being a waste of time, a farce, and an unauthentic way of communicating to people you have never met.

I feel the need to speak up and and say that that is a huge misapprehension.

Networking in a non-traditional medium.

Networking is a traditional skill that is utilized by anyone who wishes to expand their visibility in a professional sense, and the same can be done for someone in their personal life.  The use of new networking avenues such as internet sites does not make the purpose any less legitimate, it but allows another tool in your arsenal to attain your objective.

We met on Twitter, now we entertain each other on Facebook.

If someone's objective is to gain new friends, have new experiences with people across borders & boundaries, explore new moments of entertainment in their lives, how is this unauthentic?  I hear people referring to Twitter as though it is anything but the new pen-pal paradigm.  And let's be honest, sometimes the people you actually "know" (and let's not even bother getting into the discussion of what it means to "know" someone) simply do not bring the same smile to your face as those who give you four or five or twenty 140 character pieces of brilliance in a day.

Who would turn away someone who asked for your friendship at the pub after a great conversation?

To minimize the impact that someone can have on you due to such arbitrary things such as location, channels of communication, and longevity seems rash.  I have known of people who have fallen in love at first sight; I know people who have confessed more of themselves to people they have never met than their own family; I have been cheered up by people I would never be able to befriend due to them being thousands of miles away.

And that is what makes someone "good" at social networking.  Their ability to connect with people all over the world.  To take an interest in their lives and what value they bring to your world, and hopefully they will feel the same way about you.  To connect sources of need with sources of hope.  And to have some fun with each other.

If someone can brighten your day in one place, why not invite them in another?

I have gained Facebook friends through Twitter.
I have introduced Facebook friends to Twitter.
I have introduced people in my tangible life to others I know.
I have assisted Slave Lake victims in connecting to people willing to help.
My blog has brought attention to local issues and has connected me to people I would have never known of otherwise.
I have received letter and postcards from friends I have met through Facebook and Twitter.
I have received gifts in the mail from people I haven't met yet.
I have helped some people I have never met but have had the same issues connect with each other, and they have done the same for me.

Postcards in the mail are the norm for me now.

How can you dismiss social networking?

You may not be very good at it, because God knows it takes some work, but how can you deny the people who are, or the importance of it?

Participating in events in my city? Yes, please.

It would be remiss of me to allow people to dismiss it or, even more insultingly deride it and the people who participate in it, without saying something.  The biggest threat to the power of networking sites is people turning against it for spite. 
We are the most social, strongest, communicative community in the history of the world, and people have turned on each other out of envy, spite, or inability to see it's value.

And there is value.  You just have to put in the work to see it.


Anonymous said...

Well said. We would be less if not for your amazing social presence. Thank you for being you.

Anonymous said...

No shit. I hear people whining all the time about how twitter is stupid and who cares how many facebook friends you have? and being active on the internet is a huge waste of time, but they are all people who FUCKING SUCK AT IT. They are always the people who have twitter pages that nobody cares to read, they have desert wasteland facebook pages, and are usually so settled in to their lives and kids that they crave the freedom and time to be social that they had before they were shackled to adulthood. They are BORING. And they are jealous of the people who still have exciting lives. And it is easier to be jealous about someone's internet life because you can be exposed to it. They don't see your real friends and AFK time, but trust me- if they did- they'd be whining about that too.

So fuck them is what I'm saying.
You do the social media game like a fucking player! ;-)


Anonymous said...

I love your blog so much. Thanx.