In my work with clients I spend a great deal of time assessing, developing and executing social media strategies for business. Yet, there is a very real personal benefit to social media and each platform offers something different.
In recent weeks, I had been largely absent from the social media scene. There were no new posts, or tweets, no links shared on Facebook or FriendFeed. It can be difficult coming back after an absence as Joanna Young recently detailed but social media was a huge help.
After my absence, I felt a little shaky, much like regaining your land legs after a period at sea. Facebook proved to be a nice launch point to regain my balance. The smaller, more intimate nature of Facebook proved less demanding. I could give a thumbs up and never say a word. I could have discussions about ice cream or ants and others happily jumped in with comments.
I viewed photos and read status updates which helped me to regain that sense of connection. I had felt so alone for so long, but somehow less so as I enjoyed what was going on in the lives of my Facebook friends.
My business only accounts on various networks including Twitter gave me an opportunity to stay plugged in and share without having to explain my absence in other places. This helped me remain productive and relevant even in my silence.
Skype allowed me to have one on one conversations for business and personal. It was much easier to focus what energy I had on one person at a time, and each conversation left me feeling upbeat and useful.
Connecting with others is essential to our physical and emotional health. Sometimes it is not possible to connect in person and social media can fill or supplement that vital need.
Meryl K. Evans says
Karen, welcome back! I know how you feel as I have not been blogging as much… but I am still out there on Twitter most days. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… it’s OK to take a break from blogging or cut down on it.
I’ve been blogging only twice a week for a long time. It works considering my schedule as of late. With the kids out of school, I don’t get to work as much. And when I do, my clients come first.
.-= Meryl K. Evans´s last blog ..Game du Jour: Week of 21 June 2009 =-.
Jeanne Dininni says
Yes, Karen, I was surprised to hear how similar our experiences had been (in one sense, at least). Just as you have, I’ve also learned to appreciate Facebook more these days because of my ability to reconnect there (as well as connect for the first time with my siblings and other relatives who’ve just joined recently).
I’d belonged to FB for a good while before my recent spate of activity there but was never active at all before this. Becoming active there was one great way to ease back into blogging. Right now, I’m going through another somewhat quiet period at FB–though not as quiet as before. (Just not spending as much time there as I did when so many people I care about all joined at once and we all began posting our photos.)
So glad you’ve enjoyed my FB photo albums! Posting those photos (of my family’s visit to CA and also of my mom) has been really therapeutic for me.
Karen Swim says
Joanna, welcome back! I agree, it’s those conversations that begin in the noisy city square that we continue over quiet cups of tea that are the delicious, friendship bonding time. 🙂
Karen Swim says
Jeanne, isn’t it funny how we both found Facebook a safe “re-entry point.” I really have enjoyed our interactions there and have a new found appreciation for it. I especially have loved your photos and remembrances.
Karen Swim says
Hi Andrew, I have missed the conversations and am slowly finding my way back. Your words mean a lot, thank you!
Joanna Young says
Karen, one of the things I love about social media is the conversations that go on behind the scenes – the skype chats, the direct messsages, that e-mails that follow on from the public exchanges… ‘I saw this and thought of you’… ‘could you help me with this?’ ‘hope you’re okay’…. It’s because we’ve learned how to become friends 🙂
.-= Joanna Young´s last blog ..Heading For the Hills =-.
Jeanne Dininni says
I’ve enjoyed connecting with you on (and others) Facebook, which has been therapeutic for me after my own involuntary absence from blogging. Glad to hear that it’s been as helpful to you as it has me.
I hope that you are feeling refreshed after your quiet period over the last couple of weeks.
I agree with Ulla, and although I love your discussions on this blog, we all need a break sometimes and I hope that you take as much time as you need before you start posting on a more regular basis again.
For the rest of us, any wait which we have to endure before we hear much more from you will no doubt be well worth it if and when you decide to start posting on a more frequent basis again.
Ulla Hennig says
1. It is so nice to have you back, and I think you have been missed.
2. Take your time coming back – we won’t run away!
3. I have been blogging almost for one year now and it’s the first time in my blogging, twitter, facebook and friendfeed life that I will be offline for more than one week. They say that there are a lot of internet cafés in the Baltic states, but I am traveling with my cousin, and she’s not so much an internet afficionado as am. In addition to that there’s so much to see that I think I won’t miss the internet. But nevertheless it is an experiment.
.-= Ulla Hennig´s last blog ..Horse in Motion =-.
I remember the 80’s and early 90’s. Before the Internet as we know it really existed.
People wrote analog letters to their pen-pals. Phoned each other on analog phones. Handed out analog business cards.
Minutes, or even HOURS would pass, between contacting friends and co-workers.
HOW did we ever survive?
Janice Cartier says
Sometimes it’s good to be quiet. Especially when energy is low. Let the body catch up. I think I could just dabble a toe in the social media water for a few days, maybe even for the next week or so, gently splash around instead of swimming laps.
One exchange yesterday, just a simple one with a niece about peach preserves, a family recipe I wanted to track down was plenty.
And a song from Amy Palko on a tweet…just perfect…
( waves hi to Wendi)
.-= Janice Cartier´s last blog ..Elegant Enigma =-.
Wendi Kelly-Life's Little Inspirations says
I can relate to this completly. 2009 has been such a whirlwind in both my business life and my personal life that twitter and the blogging wold took a backseat to everything. Thank goodness for facebook or some of my blogging friends may have thought I fell into an ocean. I have several blogging posts that were started with the best of intentions only to have me ripped away on some other more pressing project that required my time. By the time I caught up with everything, the creativity I did have left was used for other things.
Now that half the year has been used up, I think I am ready to juggle more. Glad to see you!
.-= Wendi Kelly-Life’s Little Inspirations´s last blog ..Sudoku Rules for the Game of Life =-.