Musings: Why I Love Social Media

Today’s topic is: “What is your favorite thing about social media?” 

Well, like 1.5 billion other people, I have a Facebook page. I have accounts on Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. They are all linked to this blog so a new update is created when I publish my daily Musings. I also have fun on Pinterest (where I keep my T0 Read List) and have posted a few pictures on Instagram.

I’m by no means a social media expert. In fact, I continue to learn how to make the most of all of these social media accounts, which could take up an extraordinary amount of my time (if I let it). And I know that some people criticize social media for being an enormous waste of time or say that it’s erasing our interpersonal relationships. But I’d like to tell you about three experiences I’ve had recently which show why I love social media.

The first was on Facebook a few months ago. My non-Facebooking, online-newspaper-reading aunt sent me a link to an article in the MinnPost called “Fast and Curious: meet the NASCAR-driving, anti-carbon crusading vegetarian from Rochester.” I read the article and immediate fell in love with Leilani Münter. So naturally, I shared the link on my Facebook timeline with the headline “Leilani Münter is my new favorite person!”

The very next day, my post received a comment from none other than…

Leilani Münter Thanks Phoebe :) I love your name, my big sis Natascha used to get mistaken for Phoebe Cates!

I was so excited, I commented…

Phoebe Hunter DeCook She wrote me! That makes her even cooler! :)

 

My second fantastic social media experience was just two weeks ago. I don’t have very many Twitter followers (yet, mostly because I don’t tweet often enough to be interesting). But in mid-June, I got a new follower, an author who lives in Quebec named Luke Murphy. I hadn’t heard of him or read any of his published books but we struck up a conversation (as best you can using 140 characters or less) about what we liked to read.

Luke Murphy ‏@AuthorLMurphy Jun 15
@phoebedecook What are you currently reading these days?

Phoebe DeCook ‏@phoebedecook Jun 15
@AuthorLMurphy I just finished The Last Dragonslayer by @jasperfforde and am about to start In A Dark, Dark Wood by @RuthWareWriter… You?

Luke Murphy ‏@AuthorLMurphy Jun 16
@phoebedecook I’m reading a James Patterson novel.

Sure, it’s fun to connect with people who have similar interests, especially since it would have been impossible to have done so in person. But here’s the best part. Moments later, I get this response:

Ruth Ware ‏@RuthWareWriter Jun 15
@phoebedecook :) hope you enjoy! @AuthorLMurphy @jasperfforde

That’s right! The critically acclaimed author Ruth Ware saw my tweet and wrote me, almost instantly, from London. Talk about shrinking the world to fit in the palm of your hand.

 

The final reason I love social media is because my Musings literally travel around the world. Since I started my Musings (in mid-February), I’ve had visitors from 32 different countries! (As you’d expect, the vast majority are from the U.S. but Canada and Australia are strong contenders too!)

PhoebeDeCook.com Visitor Map, June 2016

This wonderful technology allows us to hear and be heard, to share our stories and thoughts across oceans, across borders, across political and social lines. It is a remarkable equalizer.

Thank you all for visiting and if you know anyone who lives in the still-gray countries, send them a link to my website. I get so excited every time a new area turns peachy!

 

Share what you love about social media in the comments.

~ Phoebe DeCook

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