Category Archives: social media

Day 149: The Midway Mark

Life has a funny way of dishing out its lessons.  I started this blog  exactly six months ago with the expectation of ditching social media for a more organic  form of communication. But, my life has changed by leaps and bounds, and social media has truly been a life-creator in the past months.

I am a very private person, so social media did not come as naturally to me as it did to my rock star, PR pro peers at Ohio University. Sure, I had a Facebook. Who didn’t? But, I was not one to Tweet what I was reading or check in to Foursquare. I started dabbling in social media because I knew it had relevance because everyone in my field was talking about it and doing it, but I did not have the fascination with it that seemingly everyone else did.

Eventually all that changed when I started working for a small social media consulting firm in D.C. last year. Besides learning the value of social media, I learned how fun and interesting it could be. A move back to the heart of Ohio in January (and the launch of this blog) have helped me to understand how necessary it is.

To date I have exceeded the one letter per week goal I initially set. My goal was so far surpassed because I wrote dozens of thank you notes to professional and personal contacts I met through social media, in addition to my letter-a-week rule.  I have really aimed to engage with my social network. To do this I:

– joined groups that fostered my personal and professional goals through social media (Cbusr, LinkedIn).
– built on relationships by meeting new contacts in person or by reaching out outside of the social network.
– followed-up meetings with handwritten correspondence. A thank you goes a long way.

I am seriously grateful for the role social media has had in my life this year. Having the opportunity to learn from others, meet new acquaintances, reflect on my own experiences in an open forum and build on my digital relationships in the real world with handwritten communication has been truly life-changing.

My posts on this blog have been fairly un-personal until now, but it’s my goal for the next half of this project to give you a little more insight as to the ways social media is playing a positive and important role in my life. Don’t worry, I will still write letters – hopefully even more than the past six months.

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Filed under gratitude, Letter, social media, thank you

Come on, ride the train.

  • Thanks Leesamaree

I know I have not been riding the successful blogger train. In fact, I just realized the train is long gone and I am running down the tracks huffing, puffing, sprinting to jump on. To put it simply, this project, not to mention my use of social media, hasn’t gone well since I committed to it.

Not to make excuses for myself because there really aren’t any, but it’s really challenging trying to be good at social media. Did you know there is an art to being GOOD at social media?

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Filed under public relations, social media, time management

Day 58: Mail Bag

Here’s the mail. It never fails. It makes me want to wag my tail. When it comes I want to wail MAIL!!!

I am a little late in posting this, but late is better than never. Last Sunday I took a little trip to the post office and to my delight I had TWO valentine’s cards. (Yes, it’s been over a week since then. Forgive me.)

I had anticipated any mail I might receive would be from my grandmother or my best friend. It is an effort to write a note and people don’t generally care to spend that kind of time writing out a long-winded message, dotting I’s, Crossing t’s and erasing their mistakes. I suppose that is why social media is so popular – it gives us more time for other things.

Nevertheless, the cards I received were from the most unsuspecting of people, long lost friends who have a vested interest in my effort. The simple fact that they took the time to participate in the letter social is encouraging, not to mention that one of the cards was a colorful handmade note. Maybe I’m not the only person reading my blog after all.

Thanks for believing in my project, ladies. Oh, and thanks for the killer Valentine’s. (They included princess stickers and a handmade Wienermobile card.) See below…

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Filed under notes, social media, Uncategorized

Day 45: P.S. I love you

ATC

NPR released its own series of Valentine's Day cards - this one was my personal favorite.

Yesterday my family said goodbye to a longtime friend of my mother’s. After coming home from the funeral, I sat down to unwind and indulge in the slew of girly Valentine’s Day movies on Lifetime. Ironically, the movie that was playing was one about a woman who loses her husband to a brain tumor. But, before he died the husband (Gerard Butler) makes a plan for his wife (Hilary Swank) to receive intermittent letters, handwritten by him. The letters come at the perfect moment, soothe her and help her through her pain. My day was emotional, but it got me thinking about the beauty of the permanence of a handwritten letter.

Handwriting is unique to every individual. It is used to identify us, analyze us and select us in instances of jury selection, criminal cases and identifying exactly what a person’s characteristics are. But  even more, handwriting can be used for loved one’s to remember us. It is personality on paper; therefore, it is you.

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Filed under holiday, social media, Uncategorized

Day 6: Reaching Great Grandma

I told my 90-year-old Great Grandmother about my project a few days ago. She was less than enthralled and proceeded to tell me I could keep my letter unless I had information about vertigo. The honesty of a woman who has lived a nearly full life is unparalleled. But she wanted information, so I used the best resource I know for medical information, Google.

The letter I sent to my Great Grandmother was more like a research report, but it also helped me realize that social media and even computer use does not come as naturally to others as it does to me. The oldest known Facebook user, Lillian Lowe,  is nearly 104 years old. Lowe uses social media to keep in touch with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Still, social media is not as popular with people born before the baby boom.

My own Great Grandmother asked me to complete this task because she has never learned how to get online, let alone use Twitter or Facebook. I’m sure constant connectivity can be a daunting concept for people who were alive when the television was invented. Social media doesn’t reach the 55+ age group as well as it does with younger groups, so to stay connected with them we must adapt our use communication.

Just as they have learned to adapt to new technologies, I am learning to communicate with my older family members using other resources. I can only hope that my letter writing project will allow me to get to know my great grandparents and grandparents better over the next year, and that my research project on vertigo reaches my Great Grandmother in Montana.

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Filed under baby boom, social media, Uncategorized