Social media & networking/community sites/Blogging websites, in many ways, changed my life.
I entered college at the height of it, 2004. Facebook was brand new, myspace was just getting popular. Blackplanet was waning.
As a shy introvert, I wasn’t the outgoing type. Doesn’t mean I wasn’t friendly or that I didn’t like people, it’s just that I’m shy.
Social media/networking sites allowed me to interact with people with similar interests with less pressure. It’s why I say twitter/facebook/etc are introvert havens.
Chances are, the folks with the most tweets aren’t necessarily extroverted. The extroverted people I know are the ones out busy socializing. The ones tweeting the most are probably off in a corner or at work isolated.
I can think of some major moments in my life and social media is connected to many of them.
Like going off to college. I met some people who I still keep in touch with today, thanks to a community website geared towards Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
Or the life changing seminary visit. I would not have even visited had it not been for a current student (well now he’s an alumnus) reaching out to be on twitter to get me to come visit. To this day, that visit has impacted my faith and how I view community. I also keep in touch with the young ladies I met on the visit.
Many of my closest friends, I met on, you guessed it, social media. In fact, I’ll say about 80% of the friends I met in college I met via blogging/social media. That might sound crazy, but it took the pressure off of me socially.
Social media allows me to engage in some intellectually stimulating & silly conversations from all over. Which, I prefer to small talk that tends to happen more in person. The only time I can engage in small talk in person is if it’s sports related. If it’s not sports related, then things can get rather awkward quickly upon talking to someone new, until you find something you have in common.
Social media & blogging have been GREAT ice breakers for me, reducing the awkwardness for me, even among family members. I’m not much of a phone person if I don’t know you well, not to mention, phone conversations take a lot out of me. I have a million cousins and social media actually makes it easier to keep in touch with them, because I don’t have their numbers.
Social media has introduced me to different points of views, challenged me to think critically, allowed for me to ask questions & [sometimes] get answers, introduced me to awesome people from all walks of life who in turn, have introduced me to some amazing writers & books, introduced new ideas to me-I could go on and on about social media.
People say I’m on it all the time, and that may be true. I liken it to hanging out with friends 24-7, being in the library or bookstore all day (which is an oasis for me)-the social interaction combined with my insatiable hunger & thirst for knowledge is often satisfied by my participation on social media & blogging websites. My life is enriching, fuller, and even better because of it.
Social media, in many ways, has changed my life. And as an introvert, mostly for the better.