Saturday, May 9, 2009

What's the Point?

Earlier this week my mother asked me this question, "What's the point of all this social networking stuff?" (I know I did similar blog a few weeks ago but trust me...this is different.) I have a FaceBook page, I'm on LinkedIn, I Tweet and I write this blog. It's a world that a lot of people in my parents generation just don't "get." For me, each serves its own purpose: FaceBook is for casual, personal use, LinkedIn is more for work or business related relationships, Twitter and the blog are mostly just for fun and tie into my FaceBook page. From talking to other folks, I'm not that unusual in how I use these different social tools.

Since I've been using these various resources I have been able to reconnect in a variety of ways with friends I had in high school, college and with previous employers. No deep, long lost relationships have been reestablished but it is nice to find out what old friends are up to these days and learn something about the journey they took that brought them to where they are now. These people influenced my life at some point in time. It doesn't need to have been some huge, earth shattering, deep rooted, significant impact but none of us can help but be affected in some way by the relationships we have had over the years.

One of the more amazing outcomes of all this social networking is the realization that I literally have friends all over the world. It's no surprise that I have friends spread throughout the US...that's the nature of our society and Colorado Springs is a pretty transitory city. What is truly awesome is taking a look at the various countries where some of my friends live: United Kingdom, Netherlands, Canada, Colombia, Austria, Uganda, India, Honduras, El Salvador, Indonesia, Australia, Switzerland, France... Then I think about some of the friends I have made that aren't using these social networking tools - or at least we haven't connected through them yet. These friends live in places like Italy, New Zealand, Kenya, Rwanda, Ecuador, Germany, South Korea, the Dominican Republic... WOW!

As I was graduating from high school and college and having a go at making film and video production a career, I never dreamed I would travel to so many places and meet so many people. These fancy new internet based social sites have allowed me to continue to keep in touch with so many more people than I ever would have without them. Sure, it may be just a short comment on someone's wall or a quick tweet but to me it serves as a reminder that says "Hey – I remember you! I haven't forgotten you and the time we spent together. You still mean something to me and I appreciate our friendship."

That's the point.

1 comment:

labrown said...

Some folks resist trends because they are trends. The reality is that the internet and the social networking that it has spawned are merely tools. You either choose to use them or not to enhance your daily experience. There are many trends that I am glad I did not pass on and I feel I need to explore social networking for the same reason.