gallery Friendship Friday: Social Media

Friendship Fridays theme this week is Social Media

It was wonderful to be highlighted by Create with Joy for my last weeks Friendship Friday post on Banned Books. It was certainly an educational piece for me. Thankyou πŸ™‚

This weeks topic is Social Media. I blogged briefly about this last year when I set up my Facebook page.

So what is social media and social networking? Is there a difference? Am I about to go off on a tangent (gotta love my perfectionist nature wanting to make sure I get things “right”).

  • Social media … defined as the HOW .. the platform, software, for sharing information
  • Social networking … the WHAT .. connecting, interacting, communicating.

Without social media sites we can’t social network to the extent we do.

So I googled social media sites .. Ahh badges to grab …

SEOmoz Social Media Marketing

View SEOmoz’s Social Media Marketing Guide

So what are the top 15 Social media sites?

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Linkedin
  • Myspace
  • Google plus
  • Deviant art (not yet)
  • Live journal (Live yes but not journal)
  • Tagged
  • Orcut (not known to me)
  • Pinterest (hmmm thinking bout it)
  • CafeMom (subscribe to a few posts)
  • Ning
  • Meetup
  • My life (not known to me)
  • Badoo (ahh I really don’t know how I ended up with a profile here, but it’s now deleted)

Oh dear. I guess I rate as a social media addict. Hmm ‘infographic’. A new word. How apt though. We share information so much in graphic form. It gets its point across so much more effectively. And the majority of us do this without realising. So am I addicted?

71%
This quiz was provided by – BlueGlass – Media Experts

Oh dear, seems I am in the ranks of those who are addicted to Social Media and Social Networking.

So my forays in social media & social networking …

My first foray was MySpace. A now rather defunct site as Facebook has certainly taken over it. My daughter introduced me to MySpace. At the time, my girlfriend was on Facebook and encouraging me to move from MySpace. But I liked MySpace, played games, and interacted with some beautiful people worldwide. It was my introduction to the internet online community. I loved that MySpace allowed me to set up a profile with interesting information, pictures and to create my own page. Facebook has not been able to capture that to the same extent. Instead the latter is more a social update chit-chat. A space to share with others what you do at any given time. Of course MySpace allowed that too, but not as obviously as Facebook.

So I ‘gave in’ and created my Facebook personal page. I discovered Facebook games. Of course this necessitated me adding people to make my games more interactive. I met some wonderful people, in particular a beautiful and hilarious group of Glaswegians playing Zynga Poker. So I have among my Facebook friends a number of game players around the world. Some I have chatted with and gotten to know, others are just a name on the page. But among Facebook I now have friends and family and work colleagues connected. And yes, my parents and my kids, and my kids friends. The latter is rather extraordinary. They added me. When my kids decided to set up their Facebook pages, at the insistence of their friends, I forwarded them a heap of their friends contacts. It rather astounded them that I had their friends on my page. Having my own Kinesiology practice I decided to set up a Facebook ‘Page’ (or two).

I then discovered Tagged, again through my daughter. Not so well-known, but along the lines of MySpace profile wise. And to be blunt more of a ‘hit me up’ site. No, not a dating site. But on Tagged I have some of the most beautiful friends. Particularly males. Ones who have supported and encouraged me and have become very dear friends in person, having been able to meet a number of them in person.

Lesser known social networking sites, some using Ning as a platform, are geared towards specific interests. The Empath Community, Spiritual Networks, Global Peace Web, Temple Illuminatus.

And then there’s the well-known social media sites. Twitter, a place even more gossipy if you want than Facebook. Though I have Twitter, I rarely read others tweets. It becomes too time-consuming. The rapidly popular Instagram to share snapshots, introduced to me by another girlfriend. I guess the list goes on.

I have not joined PinterestΒ  (thus far) but who knows where the future will take me.

When I first set up my WordPress site I did so to blog at the suggestion of another friend. I never thought that it too had a place in social media. But it has a strong one. In fact it is an incredibly informative and creative space in social media. I tried Blogger awhile, but preferred the WordPress layout.

LinkedIn, suggested by my friend introducing me to WordPress, is a business related site sharing professional contacts. Not many I know are there, and I don’t use it to its full potential. But it’s an interesting social media site.

Meet up is a networking site for sharing group activities and for finding others locally who share common interests. I was introduced to this site through my Business Coach.

Natural Therapy Pages, My Kinesiology are sites to share businesses in natural therapies and Kinesiology. An opportunity to advertise. Then there’s My Gumtree and True Local. More advertising sites for businesses. Does eBay fit in here? I doubt it. A site I have never been able to navigate well for some reason.

It appears I have a lot of people to “blame” for introducing me to the wonderful world of Social Media. But along the way I have met wonderful people, developed my creativity, and found a platform that suits me. Ah, trying to keep track of all these sites. Thank goodness for iPhone and iPad. I have them all loaded. The worst aspect? Passwords. All different. Continually forgotten as I leave them open on my laptop, iPhone and iPad, locking instead the device itself.

So why this fascination with social media? It’s an incredible space for people to share and connect in a rapidly progressing technological society. Distances shrink. Knowledge expands. We have a beautiful opportunity to peek into the lives of fellow human beings across the planet. Visit places we’ve never heard of. Meet people we’d never do so otherwise. Become friends with people of all ages. Develop support networks. I know that most I will never meet in person. But I meet them on a soul connected plane. We are after all energy beings and our energy travels around the world. What better way to raise awareness? Not restricted by media propaganda. An opportunity to motivate, share wisdom and knowledge. A place to have a voice and be heard. No longer are we the silent majority. What force can we have as an online community? Causes on Facebook is one way where petitions can be incredibly effective to change things at government and world level.

Yet the media itself is full of negatives. Does it perceive a threat from the general populace? We hear how predators connect with children. Why are children allowed unsupervised access? As a parent I sat in on my daughters first forays into social media. Learnt the language. Watched. And learnt that our children are a lot more savvy than we think or give them credit. Cyber bullying. Children are taught about bullying on the net at school. How to protect themselves. Yet they also need to be taught self-esteem and when to disconnect and let go, when to ignore, and when to use the delete and block buttons. And the majority do. Some few however are fragile, always at risk, no matter what. This is where discernment, self-confidence and support is vital in-person. It’s also where we need to ensure we teach our children, and our peers, moral and ethical communication and interaction.

Social media is here to stay. Short of the net going down permanently, which would indicate a loss of power worldwide, and hence usher in the other side of a Brave New World, we must learn to navigate our way. To choose wisely. To determine whether social media is what we want to be involved in or not. And still, so many today are not connected. It’s their choice. Those I know who aren’t connected have a different way of living to the techno-geeks in cyber land (that’s me and anyone reading this by the way).

My one big observation over time is that there are many on social networking and media sites who are unable to participate fully in an outside world through illness, disability and isolation. What an incredible opportunity for people to partake in life, to connect and communicate where without our online communities they would be socially isolated.

from Dawn Gregg

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8 comments

    • thankyou πŸ™‚ I agree πŸ™‚ its a wonderful world when we can all publish what is important and interesting to us πŸ™‚

  1. Thanks for another thought provoking post! I am going to have to check out that site that shows how “addicted” to social media you are!

    I LOVE your final observation about how social media opens up the world to those who are unable to participate fully in life with the outside world for whatever reason and I could not agree more. I think this is an important positive aspect to remember and I think you for bringing it out!

    Have a fabulous weekend and continue to

    Create With Joy
    http://create-with-joy.com

    • Thankyou πŸ™‚ and for your thought provoking topics … my mind just flies away with them πŸ™‚
      My comment about opening up the world was in reference to the number of women in particular who I noted were suffering from fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and recovering from serious illness. Through social media sites they could participate in a beautiful ‘game’ on MySpace creating lovely gardens, chat with each other, visit others creative gardens, be inspired and support each other through the integrated IM chat. I had the privilege of getting to know many online πŸ™‚
      For you brightest blessings for a lovely weekend πŸ™‚ and I willl most certainly continue to create with joy in all of my life πŸ™‚

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