My time of living outside of the virtual world has come to an end. It was a slow transition, but I was still astounded when the realization completely set in. It was the means by which it happened though. I knew it was coming; I just had not anticipated how it was coming. I am having to learn to use and incorporate social media in my day-to-day living.
I am a reader/writer. I like my books with paper, not on screens. I prefer to buy them from stores, not online. My DVDs are on a shelf, not in a cloud. I will admit to purchasing most of my music from iTunes, but that is because I am not much of a music person. I usually text, but that’s because I like to speak on the phone alone and not in grocery stores or riding with friends or among any other people all together. I feel that the person in my physical presence takes precedence over a line of communication happening via a tech device (this is generally; there are exceptions). I usually hold on to conversational topics if I know I’m going to see a person, rather than call or text them at that moment. I am highly inquisitive and have to get to the bottom of any questions that gives the slightest tug at my curiosity. I drive to random places to witness random things. If an interesting story breaks the local news, I’m going to see. I’ll make a purchase on one solid word-of-mouth over five consumer reviews. I will take GPS getting somewhere, but I usually get lost on the way back. I enjoy legwork.
So when I started blogging a month ago, I felt as though I had finally found a social media platform for me. I discovered WordPress was offering writers a place to meet, greet and share all types of writings; some who are very well known; like my favorite, Writemeg! and a lot of beginners, like myself. I should have started years ago, but because of my old-school way of thinking, I just kept putting it off to the side.
The writing has definitely put me on tiny quests throughout my beautiful city of Atlanta, finding and meeting people that I never would have otherwise; and I’m loving it! However, this is when I realized that the means of sharing and spreading your writing has to expand outside of WordPress. You have to have some means of getting readers to your blog. So I reluctantly created a Twitter account. After a coupe days, it started to pay off, a few visitors here and a couple views there. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” So I stuck with it.
One Saturday morning, I was walking through Cabbagetown, a quaint liberal neighborhood network hidden within East Atlanta, and covered in graffiti. There I met @laurenpallotta, @joekingatl, and @stephenstumberg88. I was surprised and excited to actually meet the artists in the beginning stages of their work. They welcomed questions, suggested ideas, and were very very cool laid back people. (I guess that’s to be expected from graffiti artists, but I hadn’t ever met any. As far as I was concerned, you go to sleep and wake up to a painted city while the everyone tries to figure out when the did the Paint Fairies come.) Anyway, things got real when we started to trade contact information. “What’s the name of your blog?” Stephen asked. I told him and asked if I could follow any of them on Twitter and keep up with the progression of their work having seen it in its infancy.
“TWITTER?!? Welcome to 2014! INSTAGRAM, SUCKA!!!”
It actually happened nothing like that, but that’s how I heard it. They all gave me their Instagram names. I had only just created one the night before, not knowing I would be confronted with it in a little less that eight hours.
I have come to the place where I see that in networking, social media has become just as important as legwork and face-to-face interaction. I mean, this may sound ridiculous coming from a city dweller in his mid-twenties who has spent the last nine years working in IT, but I didn’t know it applied all over. I thought Skype has replaced a small percentage of business meetings… But that’s about it.
The fact of the matter is that I just had not found a good enough reason to connect through the social media world. Now that I have, I look forward to using my computer for things besides working and gaming. I can tweet and follow and share now. I know how to do it from my previous Facebook usage; which is basically the other internet. Everyone uses Facebook. I just have to learn what is post worthy, make sure it’s relevant to my topics and all of that good stuff. I’ll iron out those details as I continue learning how to cope with integrating with the modern world.