Well, I just finished another webinar, and I must say, I’M SO INSPIRED!
I had to add the word, “super” to my post title, because I was so motivated and excited by what I had just learned and the connections that were made.
You see, I haven’t been blogging very long (almost six months, which may sound like a long time, but I still mostly feel like a newbie). I’ve participated in around five webinars, and the one I just attended was hosted by two well-known bloggers, Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom and Abby Lawson of Just A Girl and Her Blog. This particular session was about writing good content for your blog.
I know that most of you are not necessarily bloggers, so why am I sharing all this?
I just wanted to share that I’m realizing more and more how inspiring it is to encourage others and be encouraged online!
Now let me just clear something up. I’m not suggesting that online contact and relationships can take the place of “real” (live, in the flesh), relationships…
BUT….I am suggesting that you actually can develop, help to maintain and re-connect relationships online…for real!
I’ll use my husband as an example. My dear husband is a definite “techy”. He has done (and does now), sales and other types of jobs, but has always loved and been good at computer-related stuff. He actually launched and still runs his own SEO business, and has built and worked on websites. It’s his second job right now, but is probably his first love (in job world, that is; I’M his first love in real life 🙂 ). He also likes to spend some of his free time playing online video games.
Well, guess what? My husband has met many people online, some of which he’s actually gotten together with over time….and one of his very best friends (I will refrain from calling him a “bff”, for fear of it sounding really “girly”), he originally met online. Either that or they met in business, and then got to know each other online.
Anyway, all that is to say that you really can get to know someone through the web!
Now I’ll tell you my experience.
I’m am definitely “tech-challenged”, but am learning more each day. I was originally scared to join Facebook; in fact, my first photo was really unclear because I was so timid about putting my photo out there where “all the world” could see. But since the day my account was opened, I’ve loved it! (I guess this is the extroverted part of my “ambivert” personality.)
Through Facebook, I have stayed far better connected with my own family (from my parents and sister, to many of my extended family members), and with friends both far and near. I communicate with those from my original home in Ontario, with people with whom I currently go to church, with those with whom I’ve worked in the past many years of jobs, and with those who attended college with me, etc. I’ve also had a wonderful opportunity to re-connect with several high school friends with whom I probably never would have talked in the past twenty years….if it weren’t for Facebook.
I also mentioned these few webinars I’ve attended (online, of course). I have learned so much from the sessions , but I’ve also connected with others on the side. When I say, “on the side, I literally mean that. The “chat” feature which appears on the right side of the webinar video allows listeners to ask questions and make comments during the webinar, but also to share back and forth amongst themselves. In this way, I received some good advice and encouragement from many other wonderful blogging “friends” participating in the webinar, and hope to connect with some of them on their blogs soon!
What I’m trying to say is this:
Would it be better and more personal to get together and talk face to face, to be able to actually reach out and touch someone in the flesh, send a handwritten card or note, get on the phone and really hear someone’s voice, or spend time in a group with “real” live people at church, work, or at some other social event?
Yes, of course!
Is that always practical in my real, average, busy life (to reach out to all of these people I’ve mentioned)?
Communication through our various devices will never take the place of being together in person, but it will allow us to connect far more often and with many more people than we would have otherwise.
I don’t know about you, but I live here in the real world.
To summarize, I’d like to share with you my top reasons that I believe make connecting online beneficial.
Top 12 Reasons that Connecting Online is Super Beneficial:
- It’s quick, easy and very accessible!
- You can connect almost any time of the day or night.
- It’s possible to keep in contact with those you don’t regularly see, or who live too far away to visit.
- You can meet new people, both as personal and business acquaintances.
- You can be an encouragement and help to others in a myriad of ways.
- It’s a good place to gain access to information, tools, and encouragement for yourself.
- Connecting online is a great way to both challenge and support others, and to be challenged to learn and grow in areas of your own life.
- Social media is a great tool for sharing prayer requests and answers to problems and needs.
- Technology can provide an outlet for our creativity and a place to be refreshed and/or inspired.
- Photos can be shared with friends and loved ones and viewed almost immediately.
- It’s possible to make an income from so many different online sources.
- It’s fun!!!
Just one more note of some importance:
Of course, just like almost any other tool, social media and other online methods of connecting can be a distraction or a hindrance to our responsibilities in real life. In other words, in can easily become a waste of our precious time. Worst case scenario, in rare cases online games and relationships can become a form of “living in a fantasy world”, or be used to harm yourself or others.
But I do not for one minute think that this negates all of the positive points I’ve discussed in this post. In almost every area of our lives, we are called to think (and pray), research, and evaluate whether or not a given action is beneficial to our lives (and the lives of those we love). We need to decide how much or how little time should be given to each activity or task, and to exercise discipline in using any tool available to us.
I may not do it perfectly, but I choose to use all of the “modern” forms of technology in a balanced way, in order to grow in areas of my own life, to help my family and those I love, and to share help and encouragement with others as well.
This blog is one of those outlets for me, and I sincerely pray that it will help, encourage or inspire you, or at least provide a little respite for all of my friends who chose to read it.
What are your feelings towards online tools such as social media? Have you found “modern technology” to be more helpful or more of a hindrance in your life? Do you have anything to share that has helped you to use technology in a more disciplined way?