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The Grand Social Media Experiment. We learn by doing.


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embrace

 

No longer behind- At my last post, I talked about not feeling left behind. That feeling  came from embracing social media as a tool for furthering my education and enhancing my life. I can connect to all kinds of people, places and things. The good thing is , I can choose channels that best reach out to others. Don’t misunderstand, I have not  become and expert just yet nor will I probably ever be.  I’m just so happy I faced the social media monster and it didn’t eat me up.

To those of you who are like myself, step out of your comfort zone. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. I implore you to join me. Change is not easy but, it can be a meaningful journey that lead to wonderful places. I recall a friend who posts a lot on facebook . I admired her courage to learn social media and technology. She is so good at it and for years I watched in awe how she does it with so much ease. I never dreamed until I released my old thinking that I could do the same. I too can find gems and nuggets of information. Better yet, connecting to people means I connect to the world to find my own sources and sense of empowerment. Yeah, I’ll say it now. Social media can empower the late bloomers also.

Would I have come to this conclusion had it not been for Public relations courses?  I honesty don’t know. I do know that you never find out unless you get out there where the information is. I am grateful for that.  I’m most grateful that God has given me the makeup to always do better and often that requires a deep look at what is holding me back.

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moving

 

Having my say– I’m not sure if any of my previous blogs made any sense. Frankly, I find it a challenge writing things that might interest anyone, even us Johnny’s come lately.

Persevere I say.  In reviewing where I am in my learning curve regarding social media, I’ll quote a part of the poem by Carl Sandburg, stopping in the woods on a snowy winter”.  He writes of “miles to go before I sleep, miles to go before I sleep.”  That is me and my social media. I have miles to go but, guess what? I will be going. I am a new convert now thanks to new learning experiences.

Some say the world belongs to young, the talented, the smart and the brave. I say it belongs to all. The world through social media has become friends to some as we age, filling a void in the day- to day ho-hum of living. I have many questions yet with great anticipation to finding answers. I know I will find answers to many things I always wanted to know. On the flip side, I will be able to do the same for others. Honestly, I look back to the days of early social media and ask myself what took me so long. Here’s an answer: it was fear.  Fear and resistance. My fear came from the unknown, listening to bad things about social media like Face book, more than the good. Understand me, I know I need be careful still but, the truth about human nature is often, way too often, we are driven by the fear within us. Fear leads to resistance. The longer we fear, the longer we resist and the longer the world and everything that is worthy in it leaves us behind.

Resistence is futile, leading to nowhere.

 


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have no fear

 

Not alone – I was wondering if I had some type of deficit or disability or was I so set in my baby boomer ways that made me outdated. The thought did cross my mind of being some sort of dinosaur in today’s  world where social media is such a dominating force. My goodness! Even my granddaughter knows what’s up. She has the ability to operate a tablet like a pro. At one point I pondered if it were them, me or   As soon as I realized I could become more social media savvy, because of a desire and partly a need to compete in today’s workforce, I became more empowered o try to do new things. All of a sudden, I found myself probing and investigating more topics of interest to me.  I began to say things like “I’ll Google this and that”.

I was thrilled just to know the possibilities. My possibilities.Coursework sometimes feel like force, sometimes ambivalence and sometimes curiosity. My Attention span and interest runs the gamut. This I do know, social media has given me a new birth of some sort.  While I’m just coming out of the womb, I’m crying to learn more. In fact, I find myself fascinated by the vastness and depth of ways available to do everything from finding my old a friend, connecting with new friends, job search, and business and on and on it goes. Just think, less than a year ago, this baby-boomer was looking to for a way to connect to a changing world and developing skills to reach people worldwide. It was right at my fingertips, calling me.

My fingertips have now touched something that stimulates my mind. It can do the same for anyone. You are not alone. There are so many people calling your name.


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Alrighty now

 

Alrighty now!

At our last conversation, I was sharing my thoughts, as a beginner, entering into social media. I must say I am finding it interesting,  in a good way. Now that I know it won’t  bite me and having taken out some of the mystique  around it, I’m starting to face my fears about it. Question is, what do I write about? What do people want to hear from an older person?  Hmmmm….  what to write about? What would interest people? There is so much to write about in such a vast array of information sharing.  Social network  gives everyone a voice, young and mature alike  an opportunity to have our say. There is so much going and so much to discuss. That is my greatest fear and my greatest opportunity.

Not all over 55 aged people are created equal when it comes to blogging or any form of social media. In fact, I have friends, some older than myself who have been in the social media game for years. They may not be bloggers but, they have embraced social media as a vehicle to talk about things and connect to others. My adventurous nature and daring personality will not let me sit still people.  I have tasted the enough of the world of social media to cause me to adventure more and to forge ahead.

The thing is finding  a starting point, finding my voice. I have one. I have a strong one and  I am amazed that it took me so long to get here. I must appreciate the fact that I did get here. I have introduced myself to something I thought I never would do and it’s sweet. I will continue to savor the sweetness that appeals to my creative self and I do look forward to sharing a little bit more of myself. Alrighty now!

 


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late gamer

Having purposely  ignored social media for years, I find myself at a point later on in years where I can no longer hide. It’s here and I must play. It is the way of the world  and  I am late in the game. How do I find the nuggets I need,  pass go or land on Broadway ? I knew long ago the world was not flat, yet I fell off somehow. I got lost in time.

Frankly, I have viewed social media for the nosy and inquiring minds needing to know other people’s business. Now I  understand it is for other people’s business and mine’s too. What a revelation.  I am slowing moving away, or should I say being persuaded that social media will not bite me. I will not be eaten alive by millions of people I will never have coffee with in the café, will never call me  on my birthday or send me a card and will not care whether I exist at all. I am just a tiny fish swimming in  a huge sea and sink or swim I must. One little fish in a pool of information for good or not so good.

Low and behold, I will come late into the game of social media embracing it’s good aspects and spitting out it’s toxics wastes( sometimes it reeks of things I will never get used to). Whatever the case may be, I too am a player  in the this thing I call the game.

Lastly, I’m giving a shout out to friends who embraced the game much earlier and is quite savvy and adapt at maneuvering  their way around social media. They have mastered their particular channels of which I am late entering. I already have my feet wet and my taste palate anxiously awaiting to learn so much more and to pass a class. In fact, I wonder if it were not for class  would I pass social media for life.


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The Joys and Pains of Social Media

I was familiar with Social Media; however, thanks to my Public Relations Specialist Program my learning curve is continually growing. Each time I am online there is always something new, something old, something bold and something sad. You get my point. That is the life of Social Media. And boy, what a life it can be for some of us. That is why it is the Joys and Pains of Social Media.

The delight of Social Media is endless. Connecting with friends from the past via Facebook and finding people with the same interests through meet up groups. Not to mention you can share your favorite link with a friend and they will receive the information in a matter of minutes or seconds.

Marriages, friendly competitions and trash talking, do it yourself videos, global conversations, encouraging people you have never met and learning new recipes. You can even connect with your favorite athlete or celebrity. There is so much information on the World Wide Web people have stopped going to the library(I do not recommend this).The joys of Social Media is endless. I never thought I would enjoy online shopping, but I do. There are more product and colors to choose from. At times I feel like a kid in a candy store.

As usual the when “good” is happening it seems “bad” is lurking nearby. Social networking sites are filled with haters and other dangerous people. So be cautious of the cyberbullies, child predators (if you have children that use the internet), and con artists and so on. These people seem to receive pleasure out the pain the dump on people. You cannot stop all of them. The best anyone can do is to educate themselves about the dangers.

Social Media is a wonderful resource that enhances the lives of individuals. Let’s make the experience it beneficial and not detrimental for all.


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Social Media Late Adopter

I am not ashamed to admit that when it comes to Social Media, I previously wore the Scarlet Letter as a Late Adopter. It wasn’t that I was intimidated by it. I do not think I truly understood the benefits and I certainly did not buy into the hype. Working in retail management for over ten years, I did not interact with a lot with the Social Media channels, but I enjoyed surfing the net.
I recall my talks with family and friends regarding Facebook. They would say “Kim, people are asking about you, so should think about creating a Facebook account.” For the longest time during the conversations I had with family and friends, Facebook would somehow make its way into the discussion. For months, my response was always the same, I did not want to be bothered and no one is looking for me. Obviously neither of those statements was true.
Finally after months of Facebook beatdown exchanges, I threw in the towel, waved the white flag and created an account. I also shamefully admit my mom had established an account long before I did.
Once I started living the Facebook life (minus a profile picture, I still get nagged about that), I thought to myself this is a neat concept. I began trying to find everyone from my past that really left a lasting impression in my life. The unfortunate fact I had to face is that sometimes the impact was not reciprocated. I will say that bothered me. Also an important reminder is that many years have elapsed since I last talked to these friends and we no longer have that much in common. But the memories we shared will always have a place in my heart.
Facebook is neat in too many ways to name; however, here are a few of my favorite things. I enjoy seeing my friends children grow into adulthood, old and new pictures and sharing the old school music videos.
I even ventured out and created a LinkedIn account. As the lyrics from the 1970’s Jefferson’s sitcom “I’m moving on up, I finally got my piece of the (Facebook/LinkedIn) pie.”
I took advantage of a government sponsored Public Relations Specialist nine month certification program. One of the courses that I am currently enrolled in is Social Media. It is one of my favorite classes on the curriculum. It required that I utilize Twitter, Pinterest, create a blog as well as Facebook. I will admit some fear had set in, because tweeting, pinning and blogging (I am speaking the social media language yall) was not something I was comfortable with. Now, that is not the case, I feel confident and comfortable using the channels. Really once you get started it is not difficult.
As great as Social Media is, it has it problems. There is cyber bullying, lies, hoaxes, racist sites, and some celebrities I wish would give the world and the Social Media channels a break. Their so many inappropriate sites I cannot name them all. Just remember to use your built in sensory and filter skills to separate the good from the evil. You noticed I did not use the word “bad.” The reason for this is that the word “bad” is too nice of a word to describe the hot mess and foolishness that is oozing out on the World Wide Web.
Despite its misgivings, I encourage everyone to give Social Media a try. It is a wonderful tool to assist you in every aspect of your life. Whether it’s a meet up group or you are trying to find a tasty recipe for that tired “baked chicken” dish. Do not let your age or lack of education be a barrier. There is help for anyone at any level. Research your area libraries, colleges and universities for information on upcoming classes or workshops. Remember…you have nothing to lose, but everything to gain.