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.