Next week I am going to a conference for bloggers in Edmonton, BlogWest 2012. If you check out the site you’ll see I’m listed under the session speakers header, yes folks that’s right I’m speaking. My topic: Use Your Power for Good, Not Evil was chosen by the organizers and I am looking forward to sharing with the attendees.
While prepping I’ve had time to reflect on my blog’s journey and to consider social media as a whole. It was after this I realized how long I’ve actually been active in social media without even realizing it. When I was 20 I got my first computer and very quickly found the Yahoo chat rooms. I can remember so many nights chatting in “rooms” with “friends” over a few bevvies, yes even getting sloppy and mistyping.
Later came the webcam rooms, these are hilarious because you enter a “room” and activate your camera, allowing anyone to view you. If the idea frightens you, I urge you never to click someone else’s cam….believe me you don’t always want to see what’s out there!
What strikes me with social media is how differently it can be used depending on the person’s intentions. We can all agree there’s power in this outlet but there are also risks, not always obvious ones….there are ones that sneak up on you.
How many of us have watched a friend on Facebook build a HUGE farm, seen their status updates constantly reflecting their game play? Perhaps you’ve thought that friend is wasting their time?
People often get lost in their online activities, time slips away and their priorities change. While my priorities haven’t ever changed I did lose my voice a bit at different stages, getting caught up in the topic of the moment. Thankfully my eyes were opened and I got back on the SoberJulie train to spreading a message.
What strikes me is that we can create an alter-ego here behind the screen, we often do and some folks lose themselves to it. With all of the dating sites how often are people living a fantasy? Or take the blogger who begins to get positive feedback and morphs into being a brand which doesn’t actually reflect themselves?
Yes, I do realize that I’m sweeping across a board here with my examples but I feel it’s true.
When using social media we need to be conscious of our activities, our motives and what we’re putting out there.
Listen, I’d love to come on here some days and lament on some situation or injustice done to me but ultimately it’s not worth it. I’d be giving you my pain in the butt issue, bringing you down and also the people in my life would eventually worry that everything is blogworthy, without regard to privacy.
Social media is an amazing tool, one which can afford us opportunities to build relationships with others. This brings power with it, our voices can be “heard” by people we’d never reach otherwise.
I’m all about relationships, the ones I’ve made here in cyber-space are amazing….I’ve been fortunate enough to meet many wise, strong people who inspire me. I’d love to have all of these folks over for a cuppa coffee and reflect upon the world together. This isn’t happening anytime soon but in the meantime I will pour a brew and engage from behind the screen and bring forward my authentic self. Just me, just Julie goes here as I do everywhere I go.
How about you, have you ever gotten caught up in the adrenaline which social media can bring? Have you hit the point when you realized you’re veering off-path?