Monday, April 27, 2015

#MondayBlogs ~ Social Networks

It seems like there are a lot of folks today that are ANTI-Social Networking. I can understand that if you are limiting yourself to the computer screen and ignoring family and friends in REAL TIME… but what about the people who aren’t surrounded by others like shut-ins, or the folks who live quite a distance from family and just want to stay in touch? I am sure there are a dozen more (at least) valid reasons to LIKE FaceBook, Twitter, Google-plus, Pinterest, Instagram and other such networking opportunities. And don’t ignore the targeted forums like Growing Bolder, LinkedIn, Emergency Service chat-rooms, and chronic illness sites.

I spend a lot of time on sites like FaceBook and Twitter and visit several others frequently; for me a lot of that time has to do with my career as a writer (both author and journalist). I network with others for information, promotion, learning more about my craft, and (because I work from a home-based office) for a pseudo-office water cooler experience. As a journalist I do research on a wide variety of topics and once I query a few search terms I never know where the results will lead me. As an author I use the internet, including blogs and email, to connect with readers. But most of all, I love the fact that social media has given me a chance to re-connect with childhood friends and school alumni even if we are no longer around the corner from each other. And I can stay in touch with long distance family on a more frequent basis than our busy schedules permit via phone or handwritten letters.

There are ways to limit who sees your posts so that the relatively personal family stuff isn’t shared worldwide for everyone, of course marked private or not you should never post the really, really intimate details online. Since I want my online presence to be an “open book” )please excuse the pun from this author), I maintain two FaceBook accounts: one is for personal use and one is for anything related to my writing and my readers. During the average day I flip back and forth between my actual work (research, writing, business records, etc.) and then spend some time checking up on friends and family online.

I notice a lot of people alternately take time off from online, surprisingly most of these people are indeed missed when they are gone. Sometimes I have to wonder if they realize that they have become vital presences in other people’s lives. I have some friends and family that have come off of FaceBook entirely and they are truly missed — while I do have real-time dealing with them, there are times I just want to send them a post, pass along a meme or just send them a smile.

If you are online please feel free to some check out my sites, like me on FaceBook, follow me on Twitter and Google-plus and say HI. Thanks!

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