Tuesday, February 8, 2011

"Why so public, ATK?"

It's funny, this social media thing.

Some people are totally against it. No Facebook account, no blogging, no tweeting... heck, they're lucky if they return an email. And that's fine. I don't know that social media is necessarily "necessary". It's just that we've discovered it now, so, like iPhones and laptops and microwaves, some of us can't live without it.

Maybe those who poo-poo it don't understand the good it can do. Maybe they've only seen the harm. Watching their kids spend countless hours on the computer or texting... never uttering a word of conversation or writing a letter on paper. Maybe it's a spouse that spends too much time IM'ing and LOL'ing on Facebook instead of spending quality time with his or her mate. Maybe it's the boss who has had it up to here with his employee playing Farmville or Angry Birds on company time.

I get that.

But there are those of us who embrace and manage social networking and have found it to be an integral part of our networking, communication, and at times - validation.

Here's my point, and I'm sorry it took me so long to get to it.

Personally, I don't mind posting status updates about things that are going on in my life, good and bad. Now, some people can't understand why you would make your life so public. My thought is this - and I've said it before. We're all in this together. As a single mom, there are days when I am overwhelmed and don't have all the answers. A simple post about my frustrations can elicit 20 comments or more of suggestions, support and encouragement. Need advice on home repair? Post it. A friend of mine recently asked about who to call to fix her oven. Interestingly, she got quite a few responses, and many of them recommended the same company. Now that's just good PR right there. And I can't tell you how helpful it has been when searching for freelance work or other employment. There was always someone who knew someone that I knew who knew someone... I kept expecting Kevin Bacon to pop up on my wall for the six degrees of separation.

And this blogging thing. I know of a few people who are more than befuddled at how I can post what I post on a blog with my name on it to the general public. And I really don't know how to explain it, other than hey, it's my thing. It's what I do. I write. I tell stories. I've been told that I say what people think. So in a way, I think I provide a service. But it serves me well, too. I blog to clear my head, because there's a lot swimming around in there. I blog to figure things out; to understand, and to look for answers if not from myself then from others.

Here's the deal. I want people to know my struggles with my kids because I know they have struggles with their kids. I want to hear their opinions and I want to help them if I can. I blog about my insecurities, because everyone has them. I blog about cool people I meet, because they deserve to be written about. I blog about great places I've been because I've never traveled much and am thankful for the opportunity to see parts of these United States and want so much to share its awesomeness.

I blog about losing my minivan. I blog about being depressed in the wintertime. I blog about stupid things I did in my childhood, how I parent, what's good about getting older, what kind of superpower I'd choose, my guilty pleasures, how to prioritize, advice I'd give to my daughter if I had one, what I want to do with my life.

I don't expect anyone to read my blog. I'm happy they do, but I don't write with that intent. I write what's on my mind, because that's what I do. I'm horrible at math, and I don't do science. I suck at history and can't even tell you when the War of 1812 was. I'm directionally-challenged and can't dance or sing, though I do the two latter more often than my kids would like to admit. Writing? That's my thing. That's what I love, and that's what I cling to. So this whole social media thing? Yeah, right up my alley.

So until the next best thing comes along, you can catch me here, telling it like it is. And I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoy writing.

No comments:

Post a Comment

For those of you not commenting directly from a blog, the simplest way to leave a comment is to go to the "Comment as" dropdown menu and select Name/URL. Type in your name and don't worry about the URL.