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Social media musings on a Sunday

When I started this blog, I wanted to remain completely anonymous. Mainly for security reasons I think, motivated by the fact that I have children and that there are some crazy mofos out there! But also because I knew I’d be writing about some intensely personal things, using my blog as an outlet for some of the shit I’ve been keeping inside me for a long time. I wasn’t sure that I wanted anyone to know who I was while I poured my crappy-feeling-self out into the www. Writing has really helped me, I know I’ve evolved a lot emotionally in the few months I’ve been doing this – I certainly don’t feel as low as I did when I started my keyboard therapy. That’s pretty cool =)

So now that I’m feeling good and strong, I’ve started on my “coming out” mission (I’ve written about this before, you’ll have to dig if you want to find those posts) and a big part of the process of removing myself from both the professional and personal isolation that has been my life for the last couple of years, is connecting to people who live and work in the same worlds that I want to re-enter. I’ve had to force myself to overcome my shyness and find ways to meet people online. No, I am NOT talking about a dating service =) I mean people who work in the same or similar industries, people who share similar interests, people who enjoy music, people who love this country, people who blog, people who have fun, people I haven’t seen for years, people who can teach me things, people who make me laugh … just people!

That’s why I love services like Facebook, Twitter, and other blog sites. These online media services and communities have allowed me to re-connect with the world in a way that suits my introvert self. I have hooked up with loads of people who add value to my life everyday and I am starting to feel more comfortable in their “presence”. And you know what? Even though it took a fair amount of courage on my part to make initial contact with them through de-lurking and leaving comments on their blogs or clicking that “Follow” button on Twitter, almost everyone has been amazingly welcoming and friendly!

When I started my journey into social networking, I realized that I would not only have to take rejection risks in hooking up with people, but that I’d also be exposing more of myself than I am used to. I am still anonymous on this blog, but I know that Internet savvy folk can follow all sorts of trails and that’s ok – I don’t feel like I have to hide anymore. I have a few online identities they can track down, and they are welcome to do so – I am selective in who I choose to associate with online and careful not to just accept requests and invitations from anyone. Eventually, I will be meeting some of these people in real life and interacting with them through work or on a personal level (I’ve only met one so far, Eric from but I think that’s amazing and wonderful – that social media in general, and social networking in particular, can have such a huge, positive impact on my life.

OK, sure, there are some folk who couldn’t give a toss, but on the whole, our online community in South Africa is pretty damn awesome!! If only they know how much they’ve done for me … I’m sure they’re oblivious to the fact that their reciprocal gestures have meant so much to this cowgrrrl.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this, but I just wanted to put it out there that I am grateful to ALL these new people in my life, and to the online media and networking services that have helped me pop my bubble of seclusion. If you’re feeling isolated or disconnected from the world like I was, you may be able to inject some semblance of normality, community and fun into your life by joining the world of social networking. And if you’re already part of this wonderful blend of technology and community, you could be impacting on someone’s life more than you know …

Onwards and upwards!

Mwah xxx