Social Media & Sanity
I’m a writer. Let me rephrase that: I’m a writer and an extrovert. See the problem? I’m an extrovert, passionate about my introverted occupation. So, I built a network through social media to keep me sane.
Not long before taking the freelancing plunge, I created a profile on FaceBook. Friends said it was great to stay in touch, but I mostly used it for games. I’d heard of Twitter but, I couldn’t understand the point. Who cared that I’d just had sushi for lunch?
Within a few months of going out on my own, I began feeling isolated. I missed the ability to shout out my office door and get a reply more significant than the dog poking her head in.
I embraced Twitter. I started ‘following’ local ‘Tweeps’ and other writers. I began to see the point. It was a shout out the office door, a connection with others who were shouting out their office doors. I dropped the games on FaceBook and began status updates and interacting with my ‘friends’.
FaceBook is primarily personal, but sometimes I share with work contacts – it’s relaxed and less tactical. Twitter is more work-related, but I do occasionally mention that I’m going out for sushi for lunch!
Sure, I fell into the ‘time-suck’ trap, then, I got a grip – I check FaceBook in the morning when I start my day, or I’ll pop in if someone sends a note. Twitter, I limit to browsing recent tweets and ‘tweeting back’. I do this only when I take a break to avoid constantly checking in. I don’t scan through pages of tweets – because, like the office door, it’s a moment. It’s okay to miss what someone has shouted out.
Social media has become a manageable, necessary part of my business life and, although I’m on other sites, Twitter and FaceBook are my mainstays. There are people there I look forward to seeing and if I’m facing a challenge, or want to share, I shout out my office door to them.
Sometimes I get an answer, sometimes I don’t. The point is that I can seek out advice from the network I’ve built and know that there are people on Twitter and FaceBook who respond when they can.
While social media is a business tool that allows me to connect with others and discuss work issues, for this extrovert, being able to shout out my office door is a tool to staying sane.
Today was a great day, if you haven’t attended a local TweetUp in your area you really are losing out. We met at The Bat Cave (known as Beans & Leaves on Ventura in Abbotsford) where they serve great coffee and pastries. The opportunity to meet people face-to-face that you chat with online makes the experience even that more special. If you are unemployed or self-employed you really need to get to these TweetUps for the networking alone, you just never know who you will meet and what may come from that meeting. Heck your next job might be hidden at a TweetUp.
I had the privilege of hanging with Chris Penner & Ronda Payne, it’s always a blast when they show up…never a dull moment. But today I met new people, Rick & Kathleen Rake, very cool people and they have so much to offer so you should follow them on Twitter and get to know them.
Here are the Twitter handles:
1.) Chris Penner – @chrispenner
2.) Ronda Payne – @rondapayne
3.) Rick Rake – @rickrake
4.) Kathleen Rake – @kathleenrake
Tell them Owen sent you.
Chris Penner is a local Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams here in my community.
Ronda Payne is a writer here, you can hire her anytime she is awesome.
Rick Rake is the former Editor of the Abbotsford News and is now retired.