Reflective Surfaces: Musings on Social Media
Bouncing ideas off of others is something I’ve talked about in the past and that’s a good thing to due, but this is not that article. Today, we’re going to talk about the value add of social media and how it can be advantageous to our work lives.
I’ll admit I was a naysayer early on. I didn’t think Twitter and the like were bad things, but I’ve seen a number of tech fads come and go over the years. Heck, I’ve spent my fair amount of time (and then some) on MUDs back in the day and remember when ICQ was the rage. I even had a stint as a forum moderator for Bioware, been crowned best GM in a Cybercon, and taught poetry classes online before most folk had home computers (or had 24/7 wired connections). [1. Admittedly, home computers were on the rise, but I doubt it was really more than half the folks had them. I worked in the tech field and just about all of us did (as you’d expect).
We’ve all seen articles talking about the dangers of social media. This is true for any newer technology, but the bottom line is too much of anything can be a bad thing. Take water or oxygen for example. Too much water will drown you. Too much oxygen isn’t much fun either. Heck, that’s why the phrase too much exists.
At any rate, social media, such as Twitter and Facebook and blogs and websites and forums enable all of us to reach out and touch each other in one of the purest forms imaginable, through the power of the written word (in most cases) wielded by the intellect. Absolutely wonderful. Sure, dark sides exist, but I cannot tell you how much more connected I feel since getting involved in the world beyond my desktop. Writing and creating is largely a solitary life. The life of a designer and developer is especially weird because it is intense periods of aloneness punctuated by sensory overload as we get out there and mingle with the outside world. Communicating online has enabled me to better have a pulse of what is going on and I feel less starved for news when I reach a con. Perhaps by reaching out more, I have grown more calm and better able to focus on what I’m working on. I’m better able to navigate the company’s path as well and explore various and sundry opportunities and establish more and more personal and professional connections.
I joke with my friends touting the benefits of Twitter and other channels, proclaiming it is much like news demons of old, except far better and I don’t have to deal with setting any sort of parameters. In a way, we’re more connected than ever before. Like TV, however, you can choose to watch Snooki instead of Stephen Hawking. That’s up to you.
Feel free to share how social media has made your world a better place here or follow me at @realityblurs on Twitter. I’m usually around and would love to hear from ya!
Until next time, I bid you, dear reader, adieu!