Social Media

Your Social Media Neighbourhood: Are You Keeping Good Company?

The longer I read and write blogs, the more time I invest in getting to know people on Twitter, the more I realise how much these connections and interactions can shape and influence our view, perception and experience of the world.

Surround yourself with people who are thoughtful, interesting, generous, funny, creative… and guess what?  After a while your world starts to look that way too.  You start giving yourself permission to play out those parts of your own character with more gusto, colour, and confidence.

And you learn how to adapt, cut, shift and control your reading (listening, talking, learning, watching, feeling) experience to one that suits you.  This isn’t about following and connecting with people out of a sense of obligation to a community.  Maybe it’s more like creating (day in, day out) the kind of community that supports, encourages and challenges you.

I don’t want to get hung up on words - maybe it’s a tribe, or a network, or a community.  Maybe it’s your neighbourhood: full of people, and as colourful as you can make it.

Wall with colors by tanakawho on flickr

Here are 5 posts I’ve enjoyed recently on making those connections work for you.

Rules of the Playground from Amy Palko (@amypalko)

To get on in the twittersphere you need to follow the rules of the playground.  They’re very simple: be polite, be considerate, and above all, maintain respect for other tweeters’ time, space and sensibilities.  In other words - PLAY NICE!

Spoken from the Heart by Wonderwebby (@wonderwebby)

Social Media isn’t just about getting the most Twitter followers, Facebook friends or enhancing your online reputation. Social Media also provides a way to express, create and give.

(The post includes a link to this video of a mural on creativity - fascinating stuff)

The sheer power of other people’s positivity (or) the cure for suckypants by @TheCharmQuark

Every time I fall down, every time I think I’m about to break, I know I have people around me now who will just offer that instant support in some way. When I decide to do something specific, then I find a deluge of people offering me specific and helpful advice, or just offering to provide me with an ear while I process what I’m experiencing.

It’s All About You from Karen Swim at Words For Hire (@KarenSwim)

The “why” of most of our actions is in direct relation to our humanity and the sharing of such with others.  Without people the tools we use and the actions we take are rather hollow

You Are Who You Hang With from Chris Garrett writing at the Blog Herald (@chrisgarrett)

With social media tools we have the ability to instantly become a citizen of the world. We probably have more interactions in a single day than many people from our grandparents times met in their whole life. This has both advantages and negatives, and navigating these will have a profound impact on your happiness and your success.

Fact is some people make you feel better, lift you up, inform and entertain, while others seem to be on a mission to depress, annoy, enrage. Sorting the edifying from the toxic is a habit to get into early and often!

These posts all reminded me that I need to keep on editing and shaping my own experience so it works for me: in terms of the time and energy that I put in, but also the benefits I reap (of ideas for example, plus energy, confidence, and a sense of shared endeavour.)

What techniques do you use to navigate your way round the social media experience?

Have you found approaches that help you keep the company that’s right for you?

Photo Credit: Wall with colors by tanakawho on flickr

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Joanna Paterson

Journal and writing coach, teaching ways to notice and capture the wonder of the everyday, through writing, poetry, and photography.

Poetry and Photography - Twitter - Facebook

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13 Responses to “Your Social Media Neighbourhood: Are You Keeping Good Company?”

  1. On March 23, 2009 at 8:19 am wilson responded with... #

    Isn’t it a bless to be surrounded by different kinds of people everyday, Joanna? According to the research, when we’re repeating the same action for over 21 days (3 weeks), it has 80% of chance to develop into a permanent habit! So, it’s a common thing, where we will be affected and act like other people, after a period of time…

    wilsons last blog post..What You Should Know about Confinement after Childbirth!

  2. On March 23, 2009 at 5:25 pm amypalko responded with... #

    Thank you so much for including my post here, Joanna. I really do think of my online network as a neighbourhood. In fact, in many ways it’s better than an actual neighbourhood because I get to pick and choose who moves in next door!!! ;-)

    amypalkos last blog post..New Blog!

  3. On March 23, 2009 at 10:33 pm Terry Heath responded with... #

    These are great quotes and each one worth a whole article itself! It reminds me of the fact that we are the average of those we spend the most time with (I’ve blogged that it’s the top five). The really cool thing is how online we can have a much larger community than our physical location usually allows; not only to find others like us, though that’s part of it, but also to learn from the diversity.

    Terry Heaths last blog post..Lifehacks à la Gilbert and Sullivan - Make a Plan

  4. On March 24, 2009 at 12:53 am Karen Swim
    Twitter: karenswim
    responded with... #

    Joanna, I cannot think of a better way to end my day than here with you and all the wonderful readers. Although, it would have been a nice way to start the day too! I smiled as I viewed the picture and thought of this vast and varied assembly of people as neighbors. As we visit one another’s flats and stroll the sidewalk (or pavement) stopping at stoops to chat, we are strengthening the bond of friendship and participating in the community. What a colorful cast of characters and I am so richly blessed to have a spot on the block. Thank you Joanna for being a neighbour and friend.

    Karen Swims last blog post..Silent No More

  5. On March 24, 2009 at 7:50 am Ulla Hennig
    Twitter: ullahe
    responded with... #

    I totally agree with Karen here - “As we visit one another’s flats and stroll the sidewalk (or pavement) stopping at stoops to chat, we are strengthening the bond of friendship and participating in the community” - a wonderful sentence! I also think of meeting the locals down at my favourite pub when I think of “my” online communities.

    Ulla Hennigs last blog post..Arabian Beauty

  6. On March 24, 2009 at 12:26 pm Brad Shorr responded with... #

    Hi Joanna, Twitter has been helpful to me in getting to know people better online. Ulla’s comparison of social media to a pub is my favorite way to describe the experience . Lots of random conversations. Some serious, some whimsical, some that go on for days, some that last only a minute or so. But always these conversations reveal something and spark a connection.

    Brad Shorrs last blog post..Spiritual Renewal Monday

  7. On March 24, 2009 at 3:08 pm Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    wilson it is a blessing indeed. Thanks for pointing out that research - good reminder to keep up our practice of reading, commenting and making connections - it’s good for us as well as them!

    Amy well I wanted a chance to show off your new blog. You’re right, one of the best things of web 2.0 is that we get to control the company we keep ;-)

    Terry that’s right - it’s great to connect with people who reflect and share our values, but also those who stretch and challenge us,help us learn or see things in a new light. Or just make us laugh. Very neat technique btw for getting me to go & scroll through your archives. Much more effective than sharing a link! Here it is, for the benefit of others… though I see your post today makes reference to the idea again… must be one of those ideas that’s percolating

  8. On March 24, 2009 at 3:20 pm Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Karen thanks for ending you day here, and sharing such a lovely mental picture. You’ve got me smiling too :-)

    Ulla wasn’t it a great sentence?! Thanks for the reminder re the trip to the local pub. I don’t actually have a pub like that I can visit - but it exists in my imagination, and I know just what you mean

    Brad do you know we’re now being followed on Twitter by a firm that organsises pub crawls!! I also like the variety of types of conversation, and the fact that so many of them repeat and recur. Just like an episode of Cheers maybe? :-)

  9. On March 24, 2009 at 7:31 pm Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach responded with... #

    I just follow those who share the same interests and have the same joy of sharing that I have - it makes for a great social experience. Surround oneself with like-minded tweeple, I always say…. :)

    Barbara Ling, Virtual Coachs last blog post..FINALLY! Probe launched into Acai Berry scam diet products

  10. On March 24, 2009 at 8:38 pm Terry Heath responded with... #

    @Joanna: Oops. I didn’t know if it was okay to put a hot link in my comment, but I really should have just left out the reference too then. LOL! Thanks for hunting it down though.

    Terry Heaths last blog post..Lifehacks à la Gilbert and Sullivan - Synergy

  11. On March 24, 2009 at 10:27 pm Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Barbara that is a great way of putting it - those who have the same “joy of sharing”. Thanks for being such a good and loyal friend to me on Twitter.

    Terry just teasing… I was partly laughing at myself - I might not have read a link, but my curiosity made me go & look for and read a referenced article :-)

  12. On March 26, 2009 at 1:02 pm Robyn McMaster responded with... #

    You generally choose friends because you emulate something in them. Maybe it’s a sense of humor or positive outlook or charm or wit or caring perspective, but it simply attracts you to keep returning to their blogs. We do begin to take on many of the attributes we love about our friends because we focus on these and give them a try for ourselves.

    For example, I’m not the best one to share humor in real life, but I love a witty joke and laugh hard when I hear one. Perhaps that’s why I often choose a friend who has a good sense of humor. Keeps the world happier and that’s only one thing I might admire. The blog does give me a way to show my love for humor now and then.

    Robyn McMasters last blog post..Brain’s Amazing Right Side

  13. On March 26, 2009 at 1:39 pm Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Robyn, that’s interesting thank you - so it’s not just people with similar values, but also people with attitudes, characteristics and behaviours we admire but don’t necessarily model ourselves. Your love of humour is evident, and I know it’s how you and Brad became friends, which can only be a very good thing :-)

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