Edie Melson @EdieMelson
Let’s face it, social media takes a lot of hard knocks and gathers a good bit of bad press. But just like almost anything we have to do—or even love to do—there are good parts and bad parts.
1. I can reach more people. With the advent of the internet and specifically social media, I can connect with more people than I’d ever been able to in the past.
2. I can help others without having to be in person or even on the telephone. I can offer assistance through a comment, a prayer, a practical link, many of the ways I could before, but without the barrier of location.
3. It gives me a wider perspective. I live in the south, in the United States. Without the benefit of social media, this would give me a fairly specific definition of what normal looks like. Connections with people all over the world have broadened my horizons and influenced the way I see things.
4. I can get my message out faster. If I have something I want to share, I can do so almost immediately—with little or no time-lag.
5. I can connect with others regardless of location. This benefit has helped me reconnect with old friends, stay in touch with new ones, and even develop relationships with people whom I might never have met in person.
6. It makes me deliberate about reaching out beyond my inner circle. Social media is a world that grows with momentum. If I’m consistent and diligent about connecting every week, my circle widens. If I don’t, it shrinks.
7. I have learned to clarify and shorten my message. There are good and bad things about living in a world of soundbites. One of the good things is that it has forced me to drill down to the core of who I am and how I want to present myself. This makes my presence on social media more effective, but it also makes my in-person presence better.
8. I have a new skill set and it’s made me more confident. Doing social media well requires a big jump in skills. By learning all these things, I’ve proven to myself that I’m not too old—or stupid, or lazy, or ______—to grow as a person and as a writer.
9. It has made me more respectful of others. By watching the negative behavior of others, it’s made me more mindful that I need to follow the golden rule and treat others the way I’d like to be treated—online and off.
10. My definition of community has grown. I grew up believing that my community consisted of those who were physically nearby. Now, my community consists of those with whom I share life, sometimes in person, sometimes online.
11. I have found a new aspect of the ministry God has given me. Many of us feel God has whispered a unique purpose for our lives to us. With the advent of social media, that purpose has deepened. Where once He could use me to reach a small group in my community, now He can use me to reach the world.
I know we could (and often do) go on and on about how social media is a drag. But it isn’t it nice to spend a little time focusing instead on how it’s a blessing? I’d love to know what you’ve found positive in your time on social media. Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Edie Melson is the co-author of the bestseller Social Media for Today’s Writer. She’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, and board member of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association.
Visit Edie at:
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