Staying connected (and why I’m grateful for social media)
Do you like social media? I’m not ashamed to admit that I do.
I first joined Facebook around the time my first son was born in the winter of 2007…and for me it was perfect timing as while I was hibernating at home with a small bub, I felt like I’d lost connection with the ‘real’ world. Facebook was like a lifeline – I could keep in touch with people from the comfort of my lounge room. And of course social-media can never replace good old-fashioned face-to-face connection, but it in between the times of catching up in person, it means we don’t lose touch. This meant I re-connected with many long-distance friends and family who weren’t as easy to keep in touch with.
More recently, I have found social media to be such a great way to “meet” new people since moving from Melbourne to Ballarat. I’m not sure if there is still that ‘cringe’ factor when it comes to online-dating, but I do get strange looks at times when I try to explain I’ve “met” people through social media (and to be clear, I’m talking friendship not dating!). In almost 100% of cases I’ve also met these people “in person” first (even if only briefly), then connected online, and that way the relationship continues to evolve even though you might not see each other for a while. I find this really helpful – especially when we can all be so time-poor, juggling work, families, and friends.
I also find that these days I watch/listen to the mainstream news less and less…instead I can use social media to tailor the kind of news I want to read about (or listen to or watch), at a time that suits me.
I am currently a sole-practitioner, so business-wise, I find it so helpful to be able to connect to other architects (and others involved with the building industry) from all over the world – to keep up to date with the latest news about sustainable design and building innovations. I keep connected with other big-hearted-creative folk who are my support network. I connect with the local “green” or sustainably-minded communities, and the local arts community, and regularly attend their live events – which I would never have found out about if wasn’t for social media in the first place. I often marvel about how much we rely on the internet today, the vast amount of information freely available, and how on earth did we survive before google?!
Most recently, I have joined Instagram. I put this off for a long time, as I thought it might just be another social-media platform that I didn’t need, a time-sucker, and if you could already post photos to your Facebook or Twitter feeds, why? But I must say, I gave it a go, and I really like it! I try to do about a “photo a day” of something I like. (Somedays I might do a few, other days none at all). I often (but not always) re-post pics to Facebook and Twitter too – so if you’re not on Instagram you won’t be completely missing out! I’ve always loved photography, and smart-phones make it so much easier to capture moments. Here’s a snapshot of what I share over there:
Here’s where we can connect:
Connect with us on Facebook (This is still where I spend most of my social-media time – in fact I probably am ‘addicted’. Are you too?)
Tweet with us on Twitter (I’m not as actively engaged on twitter as I should be, I find I just can’t keep up with it all! Do you tweet?)
Snap with us on Instagram (Using this more and more – a picture tells a thousand words. And I find others images really inspirational. Do you love it too?)
Pin with us on Pinterest (I use this as it was intended – as a “virtual pin-board” to collect inspiration for architecture projects, or sometimes just for recipes, gift-ideas or fun things to do with the kids. Such a handy place to keep things bookmarked…do you find it useful too?)
Hangout on Google+ (I post to google+, but I don’t spend much time at all over there…Australia still hasn’t really taken this up. It’s mean to be “Facebook for grown-ups”…are you on board yet?)
Share CVs at LinkedIn (I connect with some architecture-groups over here, but otherwise I feel this is really just about verifying your resume online…do you use LinkedIn?)
I haven’t ventured into Vimeo or YouTube territory with videos….yet. But who knows in the future? Never say never!
So are you a social media addict too? Which do you use the most, or like the best? I’d love you to reply in the comments and let me know!