Recently, in a casual conversation with a friend, I made the mistake of lumping over a decade of work in social media with the vapid, selfie-monster that the industry can be accused of being. All professionals have their ups and downs but I was making a big mistake in undervaluing the work. I now realize, that this is a field of work that facilitates community. The fact that communities are online, does not undercut their value.
We’re all used to lamenting the woes of social media addiction, the FOMO, the overindulgent political rants and picture overload…
Today I’d like to take a minute to say ‘thanks’ to the riches the internet has brought me personally in the form of online community.
Fan-community: When I was a lone geek in suburban NJ, The Rushmore Academy was a refuge and a place to write about common sources of inspiration (yes Wes Anderson-related) with like-minded people
Friend-discovery: I’ve found some of my closest friends through discussions of common interests on Twitter. My third grade pen-pal is within reach thanks to Facebook and I’m aware of a few marriages facilitated by Facebook and Instagram.
Support: My mom receives daily messages of support from the online community of similar sufferers of her rare syndrome that causes 24/7 dizziness.
My personal challenge is to maintain that sense of gratitude and build more experiences of value, authenticity, and community in my career.