Thursday, 25 August 2011

How social media has changed my social landscape

I've been online for about 10 years. Well, when I say online, I mean, I've been connected to the internet for 10 years.

I feel I REALLY got online approx 3/4 years ago. Instead of just using it for just research, browsing and emails, I started putting myself online, started my first blog and started making connections with other people.

And how my social landscape has change since then!

Prior to the internet and really using it to connect with people, my circle of friends mainly consisted of people that I worked with. I didn't have much choice about who I worked with then, but luckily there were always a few people who I connected with.

Or I'd meet people through a friend and maybe make a new friend that way.

Occasionally I would go out and make an effort to meet new people and join a group or class. I found that a bit hit and miss.

My best friend has remained my constant friend for the last 20 year (we met in the Royal Navy). I used to moan to her, "Where do I meet interesting people? Where are the people who are are inspiring and doing something different?"

I was really frustrated by not being able to find the people that I wanted to connect with.

And now....

I'm surrounded by those people I so yearned to meet years ago! People like me! People who I can relate to. People that inspire me! People that are doing something different. People that have their goals and work hard. People that are interesting.

Before I went online I kinda thought that you couldn't call someone a friend if you hadn't met in person first. I've changed my mind on that now.

I'm glad to have met in person some of the people I admire who are online, and to be able to call them friends. When I was a 'newbie' online, and still finding my way, these people made the first connection to me and gave me a 'welcome'.

And although I haven't met everyone I want to, I feel that I can call some people friends that I connect with online. The miles don't seem to matter so much when you can chat and share on the internet.

My social landscape has changed a lot. Now it's a lot easier to seek out the type of people that I like, and say 'Hi'.

The type of people I'm attracted to are positive, industrious, rebellious, have goals and dreams and ambitions. They are busy people, as am I, and I take comfort in the fact that I'm working away late into the night, my friends are doing the same thing. And then we'll come up for air and meet up in person and have a good catch up.

They say you are what you eat. I'd also say, you are who you surround yourself with.

When you have friends that inspire and are a positive influence on your life, that will naturally rub off on you. Likewise, if all your friends are negative, woe is me, life sucks types, how is that going to make you feel?

I really find it hard to remember my social life before the net, but I am very grateful to it now, and for all the friends I have made in the past few years. Thank you friends. You Rock!

Say Hello on twitter: @karenstrunks

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