How many social media junkies does it take to change a light bulb?
None. Their backlit keyboards are all the light they need.
Come on, admit it. You can identify. There are times when all of us social media junkies forgo “the real world” for the virtual one, and find our way by the light of whatever screen we can get a hold of. But who’s to say that’s a bad thing?
For nearly 20 years, I worked as a writer/producer in what I not-so-affectionately call “the armpit of television” – creative services. I wrote and produced :30 second spots for Lifetime “She thought she had everything…until…” helped launch HBO Family: “TV that won’t make you blush,” watched countless hours of baseball games from the 1970’s for ESPN Classic “Are you Old School?” I even worked at “ ;” Katchung! I always thought that eventually, I’d come out of the armpit and into the light. But I never did. Writing promos never lead to anything other than more promos and more and more. And while I had my TV friends, and was part of the relatively small NYC TV community, I never felt connected.
When my kids started Kindergarten I stopped working (backwards, you say? Long story, I answer.) And that put me into a different kind of pit. One which I was struggling to claw out of, to find some vestige of my former self…my any self. Full time motherhood made me feel rudderless, like I was sinking into a pit of nobody-ness. Even the old TV armpit was looking good.
Social Media changed all that. Four years into blogging, I have a huge, supportive community of women who love to write, women who get that being a mom doesn’t mean that’s the only thing you are. Women who I may never have met, but who are my friends. I have a voice, an identity – I’m Hip to Housewife, and I’m out of the pits.
I am so sick of non-social media moms who say things like, “I don’t get Twitter at all. Who cares if you’re on line at Starbucks?” or “It seems like every Mom has a blog. It’s like everyone writes ’em but nobody reads ’em.”
Comments like that make me want to say“That new -fangled horseless buggy! Who needs it?” or “You call Rock ‘n Roll music? Hah!” Because really, it’s the same thing. It’s people dismissing what they don’t understand. They label it irrelevant, or stupid, or not worth their time. They invent reasons it’s bad for you: Twitter is bad because virtual friends aren’t friends at all. (Wrong.) Blogging is bad, because bloggers have nothing to say. (Excuse me?) Social Media is the end of relationships as we know them. (Well, maybe. But not in a bad way.)
So listen up naysayers: I love me some good social media. I love my virtual friends. (are you listening @elissapr?) I live for my Blogging Angels podcasts – my real-world social media gab sessions with my fellow bloggers. I laugh at the on-screen rants of Mom101 and Wendi Aarons. I love that my life has changed in ways I never expected because of social media.
If you read this blog at all, you know that I’m nothing if not snarky. But there is NO snark, no sarcasm, no flippancy at all when I say this: Social Media has changed my life. It’s changed who my real life friends are, it’s changed how I think of myself, it’s taken me out of the armpit of television and the pit of identity-loss, and into the excitement of a whole new kind of media and a brand new web-based business that I started with – of all people- a woman I met in the virtual space. (Rebecca Levey of Beccarama.com)
Half of our business calls are done on the computer. Most of our sponsors and partners found us – you guessed it – through Twitter, or Facebook, or a search engine. (like Bing!) And when I was in Paris last week, Rebecca told me, via one of our nightly Skype calls (there’s that social media thing again), that a big potential new client had contacted us after finding us on Linked In.
So, yeah, Twitter can be a big time suck, and Facebook can sometimes get you caught up in long lost friendships you now realize you lost for a reason. And there are times when you need to shut off the screen and turn on a good overhead light and look around. But the good outweighs the bad. The friendships are much longer than 140 characters. And instead of a so-called life – I have a social media life.
And that’s just the way I want it.