Ihave heard many times that Social Media has actually resulted in people spending less time together. Time spent on the computer could have been better spent with people, communicating in person and socializing physically rather than via the keyboard. In addition, letter writing has become a thing of the past and it is likely that beautiful handwriting will soon be a dead art too.
The unusual thing is that I have found social media has actually introduced a whole new group of friends to me that I would not have met if I didn’t use it. I have met some amazing people on Facebook and on Twitter and we became such good friends that we ended up actually meeting in person.
There were a few people I chatted with on a dating site and although I never met them, we conversed on Facebook and before long their friends were connecting with me or I was talking about the photos they had on their sites. Then, I was introduced to a group of photographers and regularly got their posts... and from there I met a group of people who had a music site on Facebook. It was like I was going down a rabbit hole of friends!
After all that, I travelled from Kelowna to Calgary to see my family and spent most of the week with my new-found friends. We had already learned about each other on Facebook, shared photos and laughed at things... it was weird but I actually felt I knew them better than a lot of my other casual friends. We knew instantly what we felt was funny, what made us tick, what politics we had, what causes we supported... it was pretty amazing. In addition, I connected with friends I already had on Facebook but didn’t know THAT well... and now we are much better friends because of tunes and photos shared.
Then on Twitter, I made friends with people in HIV groups and in healthcare and eventually met some of them in person .. like Bob Leahy - we met at a conference and in the past we may not have taken the time to talk to one another but he spotted me walking past and big hugs were exchanged! It was like finally meeting a friend you had known for a lifetime!
One other wonderful thing about social media is that I have been able to link two or three people together in one city, without me being there. Two of my friends in Calgary have now met and drive each Thursday night to the Salvation Army building to give out food to the homeless. I am even getting photos of the two of them together.
Lastly, I was contacted by an old friend on my LinkedIn profile and it is wonderful how you can reconnect with friends from bygone days on any social medium.
I truly believe I am MORE social now that I am on Facebook and Twitter; I even find I don’t have enough time to be as social as I would like to be on email now. Wondering who to go to coffee with is a thing of the past and dates can be set on FB! It’s truly a SOCIAL network