Social media, specifically Facebook, has been getting a lot of bad press recently, but the medium should not be regarded as wholly bad or evil.
I’ve had an “online presence” for nearly 10 years now. I found Twitter rather confusing when I first started using it and tended to only share links to my blog articles rather than actively engage with others. But I quickly got the hang of it and now largely prefer it to Facebook.
Many people think social media platforms such as Twitter are basically an advertising tool, which completely misses the point – the clue is in the word “social”. I like to view Twitter as an online version of the parish pump, or a busy cafe, where one meets others to converse, exchange news, share ideas and resources, or have a laugh.
In the midst of all the negativity surrounding social media at present, I’d like to put in a personal plea for the benefits of the medium. My online experiences have largely been very positive and have led to some very fruitful/interesting connections, freelance work and friendships, in cyberspace and In Real Life. Many of the connections I’ve forged via Twitter are, unsurprisingly, fellow bloggers; others are piano teachers or music educators; many more are the musicians and composers who have taken part in my Meet the Artist interview series. I greatly value the connections I’ve made, both personal and professional, and enjoy daily interactions with people whose tweets and discussions stimulate, enlighten, amuse, move, delight and more….. I’ve even made friends in Real Life with some of my ‘Twitterati’.
Call me naive, but I find my Twitter experience is greatly enhanced by the “tweet unto others as you would have them tweet unto you” rule. Be nice, be friendly, thank people for retweeting or sharing your stuff, don’t be an “ego-tweeter” (i.e. only sharing your own stuff or tweets in which you get a mention). In short, observe good “Twitterquette” and you get a lot back in terms of positive interactions with others using the platform.
So a big “thank you” to my friends and connections, online and in Real Life