Do you feel like you “get” social media, or do you just use it because that’s where all your friends and family are?
Being a Gemini, I’m all about communication. I majored in Communication and I just love being able to communicate my thoughts and ideas as long as there’s someone willing to listen.
But when it’s two in the morning and my mind is still racing with thoughts and ideas and your boyfriend, after a marathon of sex and all he wants to do is sleep and all I want to do is talk, asks me, “Do you ever sleep?” then that’s when I realized that I needed an outlet other than what real life could give me.
Apparently there wasn’t enough communicating in real life as much as I would have wanted. With or without sex.
So years and years ago, I mastered Myspace and Friendster, then came Facebook – only with Facebook I realized that I was about to get to know the very people I was so happy to leave behind in high school and barely remembered.
Only now, they were back and Facebook was THE platform to be in.
Then there is Twitter – and for almost two to three years, I had a Twitter account for my massage therapist persona – only to realize that if there’s a massage therapist on Twitter, it doesn’t mean that she’ll be talking about massage because she’s probably busy massaging some client or getting her real life business going. So there really wasn’t a lot of time socializing.
And after two years of watching all this unfold on my timeline, all condensed in 160 characters, I realized that tweeting as a massage therapist boiled down to one word: boring.
Hell, I’d rather hang out with my FB friends, the same ones I couldn’t have cared less back in high school.
So last October, I finally started a Twitter account for fun. At first it was just about writing – I got myself a pretty simple twitter name, Morrighansmuse – but then I found that if I followed just writers, all I was ever going to get on my timeline were tips about writing or sales pitches about their books and again, it bordered on that one word again – boring.
What’s social media without the “social” part of it?
And so I decided to seek out people who shared something that I was interested in at the time. I typed in ‘yarn’ and ‘knitting’ and even ‘spinning wool’ but I already knew most of these people from another online social media platform, Ravelry.
Why the hell would I need Twitter to talk about yarn – and worse, condense it into 160 characters? Twitter obviously does not understand knitters – because we can talk and talk and talk, even while we knit. So Twitter is mostly a secondary media platform and I really did not want to talk yarn on Twitter.
So I tried another search. At that time, I had just discovered Richard Armitage through BBC North & South, and so I typed his name in the search box and found the Armitage Army – the Twitter contingent. Apparently there are many other contingents out there – IMDB, C19, the Real Armitage Army…the list goes on and on.
What’s interesting about social media, as I’m discovering now that I tweet and blog more for fun than I used to in the past, is that I’m actually having more fun doing it. And in doing it, I actually have learned so much more about it while having fun.
Social media has finally become what it says – social media.
These days, I don’t just tweet with other people about Mr. Armitage. I’ve met people who do art, who write exquisitely with vintage fountain pens, who create beautiful works of fairies and unicorns and dragons, who do their best to practice kindness each and everyday (though there are those who do their darnedest to do just the opposite) and who make me laugh or smile every time I’m online.
I’ve also finally learned how to use Twitter and master the 160 word limit and practice tact when others forget the meaning of the word – for even online, it’s important to still be polite.
And most of all, when hubby now asks me at three in the morning, “do you ever sleep?” I can simply turn on my iPad and socialize in the virtual world.
But one thing that surprised me the most about all this media socializing is this – as much as social media is all about communication in virtual networks and communities, where ideas are transmitted primarily through keystrokes and mouse clicks, it’s brought me back to the simple forms of communicating, back when computers were gigantic and the postman’s arrival was a main event for most people.
I’m actually getting real honest-to-g*d snail mail.
And that is quite awesome!