On becoming socially active

xkcd.com/1045

Shortly before I began interning at Birmingham magazine, I made my Twitter account public. Much to my parents’ chagrin, I began meeting up with some of the people I met through social media. In the months that followed, the city and its opportunities opened up. I learned how to ask for opportunities, and haltingly began using social media as a connector. The targeted fearlessness that I learned has resulted in freelancing gigs and some really incredible interviews with artists, musicians and chefs I admire.

As a member of Gen Y, the Internet is comfortable and easy to navigate. I can point you towards grammar jokes or find you the latest in Fitzgerald scholarship. My Google fu is strong. I have a penchant for nerdy web comics, and love sharing funny things with friends.

It comes as no surprise, then that social media (especially Twitter) has fundamentally shaped my interactions with others. Despite warnings against the superficiality of social media, its use has resulted in friendships and enduring inside jokes. Most recently, I had coffee and beer “meetings” with people I connected with through Twitter thanks to WBHM’s Issues and Ales. Those two stories will get their own post later—Javacia and Alex are both people you should know.

Social media can be an amazingly effective way to connect with people. Few other forms of media are as efficient at conveying so much information, and if used safely and correctly, can result in such stimulating and satisfying conversations.

This blog will be my documentation of my adventures in social media, both personally and professionally. My hope is that it might even convince others to try connecting with new people through social media. After all, you’ll never know who you’d meet unless you try it.

5 Comments

Filed under BlogLikeCrazy

5 responses to “On becoming socially active

  1. I’m so excited about this blog. Too many people fail to realize how much social media can enrich our lives and help us build real, offline relationships. I’m so glad I met you through Twitter!

  2. It’s a new world Clair. When my book was published, I realized that it was just the beginning. I had to get out there and let people know about it if I ever wanted them to read what I’d written. Suddenly, I lost all my cherished privacy. (I remember the days when people disguised their names on email out of fear of the Internet. I also remember the Internet before the Web–no graphics, just text!) My friends thought I was nuts just letting ANYBODY friend me on FaceBook or LinkedIn, but for the most part, it is just as you have said, an amazing opportunity to meet people you would never know about otherwise (like you!)
    PS I do admit, Twitter is still a mystery. Perhaps you can give me some clues there. 🙂

    • It really is, and it’s a great way to promote your work and make professional connections.
      Twitter is a great writing exercise–you have to synthesize information into brief snatches of text. I like it a lot.

  3. I look forward to reading about all of your adventures!! We were just talking the other day in class about how our culture of rapidly changing technology has led to a disconnect among generations. I wonder what social media will be like when our kids are here?

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