Thank You, Social Media

social mediaI spoke with a client yesterday, who, given his age, doesn’t “get” social media.  I hear it from many clients and my parents.  “I don’t know what Twitter is and I wouldn’t know how to tweet.  Snapchat?  What’s the point?” My parents refuse to have a FB account and I’m not allowed to post any pictures of them…for privacy purposes.

In fairness, I had to ask the same question to my daughter who is always taking selfies and posting on Instagram and Snapchat, competing with her brothers for likes?  Concerned about her ego-centrism, I was quickly reprimanded with the explanation, “Snapchat’s a way of sending messages but with your picture.  Ugh, you just don’t get it, Mom.”

No, I honestly don’t get sending pictures of myself to my contacts. Most of the time, I don’t even like the way I look let alone want to share it with others…over and over and over…on the same day, often within minutes of each other.  Perhaps I’m just missing the newest craze.

However, I do so love social media, not just for my business, but for all it allows me to read, see, learn, explore, and feel.

Without social media in my life, I would not have the pleasure of seeing how my students from 20+ years turned out.  Socially awkward and physically awkward in junior high (who wasn’t?), these young ladies and gentlemen have turned into some of the most precious beings to me. And I get such pride and joy out of seeing the beautiful and handsome partners they ended up with, and I get a small glimpse into their tragedies, milestones, and families. Events and emotions I would never have experienced without being let into their lives virtually.

So Much to Offer

Social media, you have brought me friends I have never met, but bonded with over challenges in our lives, opportunities for advice, career advancement, and that extra reminder I am not alone in my journey.

I have reconnected with people from St. Mary’s College; people I may never had had a conversation with 24 years ago, but with whom I share anecdotes, stories, tears of sorrow, tears of joy, and many laughs over their posts.  Our class is very tight, and we all feel that Gael bond.  It’s amazing to see that after all of these years, we most certainly are there for each other.

I Needed you 10 Years Ago

But social media, where were you 10 years ago? When I was depressed, lonely, longing for the company of anyone, someone, who could tell me why, after having three kids, I fell into a deep depression with my fourth?  Where were all of my online support friends when I found myself longing to go back to work despite having a full and blessed life…or so I thought.  Where were you when my husband left me with four kids under 8, including a newborn? Cuz I could have used a few of you to cry to and send me virtual hugs when I felt my world was falling apart and there was no way I was getting out of this.

I remember turning to Kelly Ripa and Regis Philbin of all people!  I loved Kelly before she became a star.  I named my daughter, Hailey, although spelled differently, after Kelly’s character on All My Children. I just needed SOMEONE ANYONE to talk to me.  Their voices filled my empty heart and soul and my home.

Today, when I need that boost of support to get me through a rough patch or to share a Momism that makes my heart burst with pride, I turn to social media.  Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Linked In.  All such powerful tools in so many ways.

So it makes sense that I turned my passion for social media into my profession.

So thank you, social media, for being a way to connect both on a personal and a professional level with so many people who mean so much to me for so many different reasons. And for all of the good you do in bringing people knowledge, entertainment, awareness to so many causes. For that little bit of energy or jolt I get when I have a few minutes to take my mind off work and kids and see what others are doing, experiencing, feeling.

Yeah, social media, you’re just the kind of thing I need-despite what others may think of you.



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