11/11/09

In defense of social media

Wednesday~November 11, 2009


I opened an email the other day to see THIS:


It was terrifying.

You see, I had 777 followers on Twitter and I was thinking that was a really great place to stay. Just look at that beautiful number - 777 - it's perfection, so safe and strong. But the person who sent me that picture above thought it necessary to sabotage my Twitter number happiness, and sent out many tweets asking people to follow me, therefore increasing that number and changing it.

Rude.

(Okay, fine. I had done the same thing to him in the past.)

(Hence the terrifying Mel Gibson Payback photo above.)

I'm sharing this with you for a few reasons. If you read my post a couple of days ago, you're aware that I wasn't having the best day. So the truth is, I needed the silly Twitter banter to cheer me up. That's one of the beauties of social media, I think, connections at just the right moment. Don't get me wrong, I don't think it can replace face-to-face relationship and communication, but it sure can provide an avenue for the small connections a person sometimes really needs throughout a long day. Let's face it, people are living more isolated and independent lives than ever before. Maybe that's why we love facebook, blogging, tweeting, and texting so much. It's connection.

As MckMama waited alone during Stellan's surgery the other day in a city far from family and friends, she tweeted about receiving texts and tweets, and how much they were helping her, from real life friends and not. The support was like a buoy, I'm sure. I know because I felt it during my Asher's (less risky) surgery last year. People I knew and didn't know reached out and said they were there for us largely because of this avenue of communication that some look down on. There was absolutely no way to feel like no one cared, no way to feel alone, just our family struggling through. Instead, I constantly felt the whispered prayers and well wishes for my boy, and it was good.

Blogging and even Twitter have brought a whole lot of people into my life that I never would have met in any other way. These are people who inspire me and make me laugh, tell good stories and truly care. It's good stuff.

The Twitter rivalry the other day took place between myself and Mr. Mother Letter Project. He and his absolutely lovely in every way wife Amber are an inspiration to me. They are the kind of people that don't just talk about caring for the world around them, they live it. Thankfully they have the Internet to spread the word when something beautiful and good is up their sleeves. Their latest inspiring project is going to be revealed very soon, and I'm so excited to be a part of it. I'll be telling you more about that in the weeks to come.

There are so many people doing amazing things they wouldn't have been able to do without the world wide interweb, and I love watching beautiful things unfold here, things that bring help to people who need it.

And really, a Mel Gibson Payback poster in my inbox, making me laugh when I hadn't laughed all day, that's just the icing on the cake.

32 clicked right here to comment:

katdish said...

Well, you know I'm a big fan of social media. So many cool, wonderful folks out there. You included, of course.

bman said...

I really like this. It's true. Nothing will ever really replace face-to-face, but this comes much closer than forums and websites ever did before.

It's about community, and there's a really strong one that most of us (probably most of us reading your blog) are a part of, and that is cool.

And, katdish, I like social media, I just get really tired of people telling me how to do it and that it's the next evolution. I know it is. That's why I do it.

(Sidenote: This is my first time commenting, but I have no idea why... I'm coming back!)

Motherboard said...

I'm a fan. Without it I would never have met you, my soul sister.

Amber@theRunaMuck said...

Right on! I agree, friend. Thank you for loving on us how you do.

When kept in balance, social media has only been blessing.

Heather of the EO said...

Oh yes. I forgot to mention that IN BALANCE thing. Tricky, but very important. Walking away from the social media here and there is totally necessary! :)

Eowyn said...

I'm with you on this one. Charette and I were conversing about this last night, that It helps so much.

Balance, Balance, Balance. As long as I balance, I'm good to go.

You're awesome.

(Just caught up on your few recent blogs. That one about the bad day just about put me over. Congrats on selling your house and I'm glad you were able to pull through it! You're an inspiration for me for the next few days!)

5thsister said...

I have found some of the most sincere and lovely folks in my blogging venture. No, these friendships don't "replace" personal relationships but that doesn't make these friends any less "real". Looking forward to hearing about the project.

togetherforgood said...

I totally agree with you Heather. I'm so thankful for the friends I've made through blogging and the friends I've reconnected with through facebook. Good stuff.

Kelly @ Love Well said...

So true. Especially for those of us who don't work in an office or around other adults (such as SAHMs or people who work from home). Social media is like our water cooler.

Dave said...

isn't it crazy how a perfectly timed quick hello from a perfect stranger who is also a close friend can really turn a day around? :-)

Boy Crazy said...

And sometimes online friendships turn into real-life friendships. *Lacrosse. Cough Cough* :) I love Amber too, and now I'll have to check out her hubby, too.

-elizabeth

Rebecca said...

It is so true - webbyrelationships aren't the same as face to face, but boy can they pull you through!

So excited you are going to be surrounded by boxes this holiday season - congratulations!

Corinne said...

It can be pretty amazing! I know I always feel so much less alone on rough days... and that is a huge blessing!

Charisse and Holly said...

Everyone in my friendship circle...except Charisse...asks me "Why?" They don't understand why someone would blog. I'm still trying to come up with answers that would make sense to them. The friendship aspect was something unexpected for me, but has been a real light in my day. Holly at lifelaughlatte

Debbie said...

You know I am a huge fan of the blogging community and all that it has to offer. I'm still trying to fall in love with twitter. Still trying.

Haley said...

Glad to here that you found a little silver lining at the end of the day.

Social media brings us together when we least expect it!

susannah said...

it truly is good stuff! i love getting tidbits, inspiration, a good laugh or cry, and wisdom from someone who is a friend, and yet a complete stranger if i bumped into them in person!

(and ps- NO my sister STILL hasn't had this baby! in labor for 30 hours so far- with a long road in sight...)

Jamie @ Six Bricks High said...

Well said. I love the friendships and sense of community that come with blogging. I haven't joined in any other social media venues. I'm afraid that if I were to Twitter only 2 people would follow me (totally insecure, I know).

Kristen@nosmallthing said...

777? Seriously? I can't imagine having that many followers. Wow. I'll bet I have even less than Jamie @ six bricks high up there. And yes, I'm totally insecure, too.

Elaine A. said...

It's so true, amazing things come from this community we've found ourselves in. Some on the outside don't get it but I SO do. And you do too.

REALLY amazing things...

Excited to hear about the project you are helping with!

Heather of the EO said...

Jamie and Kristen -

You would definitely have followers on Twitter. It just takes time. It took me a long time to get it, but now I love it.

L.T. Elliot said...

I admit that I don't twitter but I love that both you and MckMama have had those whispered prayers and well wishes. What a great picture of humanity right there. If all people were this connected...

glitterbygrammie said...

I don't twitter. But I have jsut know found the world of blogging. I love reading everyones thoughts and adventures. I am thinking of starting another blog myself to express things I am thinking and feeling.

Jen said...

The internet can make a person feel really, really loved and supported when they need it most.

Lara said...

It's a delicate balance, that's for sure. Which is why I don't think I'll ever Twitter.

However, the friendships from online connections are amazing and I really wish the naysayers would understand that better. :)

Mammatalk said...

The support out there is really wonderful, isn't it?

a Tonggu Momma said...

Wait... you mean I'm supposed to actually tweet on Twitter?!?!! Who knew? No wonder I have only, like, 10 followers. I'm happy you had 777. Maybe you'll soon receive enough to have 7,777.

Heather Sunseri said...

I love all the incredible friends I've made through social media. The banter is perfect medicine some days.

Nikki said...

I absolutely agree, there is nothing like the web to connect people at times when they especially need a little connection! Writing is like throwing something out into the universe and seeing what comes back:) even if nothing comes back, its just matters that you threw it out there.

Melissa Stover said...

i know what you mean. twitter and email, even facebook banter can lift my spirits when i least expect it. internet friends are really great to have.

mama-face said...

I only wish I had joined in on the game sooner. This whole phenomena has changed my life; almost always for the better. (Sometimes I get a little hermitish and have to remember to go outside.)

:)

Seth said...

It took me *way* longer to win than it did you. You undid my magical number in about one hour. It took me all stinking night, and some really serious bribery to get it done.

You ladies have much more twitter power than us guys. Hmmm... maybe a microcosm of real life?

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