I didn’t get it at first. Didn’t even want to fully partake in it. True, I’d dib and dab, but to fully commit was simply against everything I was about – nonconforming! Social Media was a senseless waste of my time, a knock off reality virtual-show, a voluntary self violation of personal lives, a means to ridicule, degrade, make mockery, boast and brag, a marketing tool, a tool to pursuit lifestyles of the Jones’, a bad habit, a distraction – from everything real and important, a reflection of our shallow world, and I wasn’t loving it!
A close friend of mine once made what I thought to be a profound comment/observation in reference to someone else she knew personally, however I quickly took personal her observation, as I was able to easily identify with it. She mentioned, and I paraphrase, that this particular person felt the need to fight against the grain instead of simply allowing herself to live, experience and enjoy life! It was this person’s determination to stand for and be about everything that wasn’t mainstream or “expected”.
I could relate.
I struggled with the same self determination, for I was convinced that the moment I “gave in” or “bought into” mainstream or what predetermined path was laid out for me, I’d lose control of my true self. The logical position seemed to be, in order to remain separate in ideas, thought processes, and way of life, I needed to remain detached as much as possible so to avoid any “corruption” or “negative influences”. I looked at social media this way – I didn’t want to be doing it just to be doing it. I didn’t want to participate just because everyone else was participating. You see, my actions always have to be lead with a purpose. So it had to make sense and it just didn’t! (with the exception of LinkedIn, which I found to be extremely purposeful!)
Social media has been a great tool in many ways – allowing for global outreach, accountability, transparency and simply an effective way to reach people like never before. However, at the same time, its proven quite detrimental to the true essence of communication as we know it: intimacy, direct contact, face to face, the sharing of energies. Thru social media, we’ve learned to be less sociable in person, it seems. Unable to strike up conversations, communicate in full complete sentences, express our feelings, etc. while face to face with another human being. Rather, we choose to hide behind our desktops, laptops, smart phones, tablets, etc, to reveal who we really are or who we want to be perceived as. The very idea of this caused me to shy away from using social media as a tool to communicate my innermost. I didn’t want to lose touch of human interaction, human contact and energy.
However, recently my experience and view of social media, changed. Now, my focus has narrowed some. Instead of looking at the experience in its entirety, I begin focusing in on only those things that were directly related to my interest…like everything else in life I guess. My positive energies, challenges, aspirations and interests attracted communications of the same. And I soon started to notice just how touchable this untouchable world is in fact. As I started to feel the impact of others experiences, struggles, affirmations, challenges through their posts, I noticed while we drift away in the physical, we gain undeniable closeness in the virtual world. And in a way, possibly more effective than ever before. I was inspired by so much of what so many wonderful people were doing. I even found that when I was in a rut about a certain hard place in my life, I could open my Facebook or Twitter page, scan through, and just like the bible, find a positive quote made just for my circumstance. And just like that, I was back on track! Or if someone was chronicling the development of their new venture or project – whether it was prepping for a marathon or starting a new garden or learning to play an instrument – I found myself inspired and motivated and was up on my feet keeping after my goals! What a beautifully, incredible phenomenon!
And then I noticed the impact was not just mine to experience….everyone was impacted in such a positive, beautiful way! I looked at how friends and acquaintances slowly begin jumping on the band wagon. Making positive changes in their lives, doing great things, living! And it started to become so contagious it seemed…as though everyone was drinking from the same well of water! A coincidence? Possibly, but I refuse to believe so.
Social media has in fact proven, in my eyes, to be a great tool for touching others all over, sometimes leading to new friendships and greater developments. And though we may never touch physically, its refreshing to know that we touch each other daily in the most meaningful ways! I now find purpose in my participation. And I hope that my life can also be an inspiration to others in this touchable, untouchable world.
So thank you to all my Facebook Heroes for opening your lives, personal thoughts, challenges and triumphs to me and allowing me to stalk/follow you. You have all impacted me in positive ways that ultimately help me to become a better person! From the bottom of my heart…thank you!
Share how you have been touched by your Facebook Heroes.
Next Blog: Shout out to Facebook Losers…folks who have demonstrated exactly how NOT to be and have made me count my blessings! Just kidding…no need to call those folks out…they already know who they are!