The reason I avoided it for so long is that it is technology that totally alludes me in terms of its importance and necessity. I mean, really, it's like a drive-by strafing of thoughts. Who cares, I think, WTF? What does this add to my life except one more responsibility and chance to make noise?
The other reason I waited is because I don't own a smart phone. I don't even have a texting package on my phone. I used to have an iPhone, but when I got my iPad, in an effort to cut down on expenses, I opted to only pay for one data package and I use my iPad more than I ever use a phone. Twitter was built for on the fly communications via phones. You can even post pics with the phone, upload via Instagram and wham, the link is up on Twitter with a quick caption. No phone? Didn't seem to make a a lot of sense. But, then I thought, "Well, I suppose I could use it on my iPad and laptop, but why the hell would I do that?!"
I started to think about it and I had to admit, probably for the same reason some of us keep a journal. I stopped doing that years ago, and I now realize that blogging has become my open journal that I invite you to come and snoop around. I don't really think I'm an exhibitionist, but neither do I shun the hot spot light. And, I have often wondered why I even bother. That's when I realize that at some point, blogging stopped being solely for my amusement and more about my need to feel validated and heard. My need to be part of the big world. To my mind, that's when the slippery slope started on so many levels.
My friend, Toni, the other day openly and candidly announced on her wall, "Still trying, and failing, to understand Facebook." If you are over the age of 40 something, you're lying if you don't admit to the same.
It took me a long period of questions from Michael about the use of it all before he decided to take the plunge and open his own fb account. Now he uses it all the time, but the reason he does is because his company is into it big time. He has a Twitter account, but never uses it.
Most likely because I was on fb, I started getting invites from LinkedIn and because I have worked independently for years and it seems to be the site where professionals go to connect up, I decided to join. However, I get very little action from it, most likely because I don't really understand its benefit.
I was surprised the other day when I saw that my account had been viewed by a job recruiter. She had done this prior to our conversation. I wish I'd received better news from her than I did, but I'm left with the impression that it's most likely time to reinvent myself professionally now that I'm a senior in the job market world. And I most likely need to modify my expectations and desires. Sad to say.
The point is, that after I realized that my profile on that site was looked at prior to a conversation, I got on it right away to freshen it up and added to it. It reminded me of a very valuable point- if you put your info out there, you must do regular house-keeping and maintenance! Or, if you decide it's not of value, take it down! You wouldn't leave important documents out on the street, would you?
Here's one I also joined, and admit I totally don't get. If you do and you like it, let me know what I'm missing and how I can make it better or I think it will have to go. What's different about it than Linked In is a mystery to me.
Here's one I really thought I'd like after I kept reading about it on my friends' walls and in their blogs. Some people have found this to be like crack...they simply can't leave it alone and find that they lose hours a day drifting on here. Turns out, this one I haven't really got the knack for. It's a highly visual site; think of it as a virtual bulletin board where you can pin/post the most wonderful things that capture your interest. Sounds good, yes? But you have to be willing to search the Internet like a blood hound to find stuff. At least that's how it feels to me.
Now, friend Toni who is still attempting to understand fb? Well, she's outstanding at this Pinterest thing because, although she is good with words, she is a highly creative, visual person and her art leads her in that direction with no effort. Me? Not so much. We all know words are my wheel house.
This is my friend, Annie. You can tell that she is young and full of excitement about life. I love her; she keeps me fresh in my thinking. Many moments have been spent in discussion about these various outlets for crazy I've listed here. To her credit, when she doesn't know, she'll say so, however she knows way more than I ever will. When I listen to her talk about what she does with all of this stuff, she fuels my interest in trying. She is my social networking muse! She never gets down on me for not understanding...very patient is my Annie and her enthusiasm is infectious so I keep at it.
It strikes me that all of these Social Media tools, for us of a certain age, are no different than the telephone effected people when they became available for in-home installation. Most people said, "I've never had one, I don't need it, and I don't want that contraption in my house!" When something is new, brand new, it's hard to imagine what benefit it can have to your daily life. I maintain, however, that even though some of the technology is absolutely not relevant to you, it doesn't mean you shouldn't poke around in it to learn how it works. I'm sure when Human Beings first got up off four feet and onto the back two, they couldn't imagine how important that would be to things, either!
The fact is, we do not yet know what Social Media is going to mean to us and our lives. We're just at the beginning of it and it's being invented as we go. You can choose to stay out of it until the bugs are worked out, or you can get in it now and paddle around in the pool. Up to you.
But, let me remind you, this is different from a car or a widget you might wish to buy. It's not an inanimate object. What this is, is Human Beings relating in a digital age. It's their voices you hear, even though you're reading the words or viewing the images they post. It is how they are connecting to each other. It might seem cold and impersonal to us who grew up in a different age and stage, but if you ask someone like Annie, she would find it hard to imagine life any other way. Relationships and life for her is done through tweets and walls and pinning and linking in. Her tools for reaching out and touching and hugging are via a computer and her phone.
And yet, she finds the best of all communication is face to face. However, unlike most of us, she'll more than reach for the chance to keep in touch via electronics and social media instead of waiting until she can have that face to face encounter. I think my young friend is most certainly wiser than I am in this regard.
So, I'm going to follow her lead, feeling truly stumbly and stupid while I do. Hell, I really don't have many people who will follow me on any of these sites so my blunders will go unnoticed-- I hope. I can at least put myself out there. And, that's why I caved and joined Twitter. If nothing else, Twitter will teach me to express myself in a very narrow format; you only have 140 characters to work with! If you care to follow me there to see how it goes, it's @HollyDietor.
Oh, and by the way, if you decide to follow me on this blog or anywhere else now that you've seen Annie, I'll be pissed that you didn't do it for my wit and wisdom, but I'll understand. She is gorgeous, isn't she?! And, I'm willing to do whatever it takes to connect.
Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Is Stumbling Through The Digital Age