A Whole New World

By Wednesday, May 2, 2012 0 Permalink 0

For the longest time I have been complaining about how much Facebook annoys me. I was told I must have a social media presence for business reasons and that Facebook was my only option. Unfortunately, Facebook has a way of making me feel “small”. People seem to constantly post photos of themselves having fun while looking gorgeous or saying I just booked this amazing photo shoot, etc. Before I knew it, I was comparing myself to them and …. well you know were that leads.

The one social media site that I have always loved is Pinterest. But at the time, I felt that it didn’t qualify as having a social media “presence” (more about this later).

For a long time I felt stuck. I briefly tried Google+ but no one I knew was truly active on the site. Back to Facebook I went. A few months later I tried Google+ again. Around the same time I discovered Guy Kawasaki’s book “What the Plus? Google Plus for the Rest of Us”.

Suddenly, I got it. Google+ is about meeting NEW people and connecting with them. And, isn’t that what social media is supposed to be about?

Suddenly a whole new world opened to me. I found people who posted the most interesting things on Google+… Do you know they are building a monastery in Europe using the same methods used in medieval times? And, there is a waiting list of people wanting to work on the project (One sent in an application on paper from that era, in medieval German!).

I also discovered the photographer Chase Jarvis through Google+. Chase puts on free live broadcasts of interviews with people he finds interesting. Today he interviewed a musician named Zoe Keating. She rejected the way the music industry traditionally operates and foraged her own path.

Two of my favorite quotes from the interview:

Regarding working in the arts and marketing ourselves during the internet age – “We don’t require permission anymore to do what we want.” – Chase Jarvis.

And, regarding how to approach social media – “My one rule is: I must be totally authentic.” – Zoe Keating.

What Zoe said really resonated with me. On Google+ my goal is to be authentic in everything I post (a change from Facebook where I felt I could only post about accomplishments).

All the recent media hype made me realize that Pinterest was indeed a “true” form of social media. I’ve been happily “pinning” beautiful things for quite a while and was ignorant of how it could affect me (or others). At the time of writing this, I have 509 people following my boards on Pinterest. That is many, many times more the people following me on Facebook or Google+. I’m also starting to get invitations to participate in “group” boards as well as interacting with people all around the globe.

Why? I believe it is because Pinterest has always been about me…personally. I’ve only ever done it because I enjoyed collecting beautiful things that inspired me. As a result, I am completely authentic on Pinterest.

Being myself and letting people know who I really am is a challenge for me. The old shy me was very used to keeping quiet about what I thought out of fear of being ridiculed.

I am determined to enter into this “new” world I am discovering online as the “real” me. Sure, I’m going to crash and burn more than once. But the rewards, I’m finding, are so much greater than hiding who I am or comparing myself to others.

To follow me on Google+ and Pinterest, click on the icons on the top right side of this page. In case you are wondering…Yes, I am still on Facebook.

Image Source: I tried to find where this image originated from but was unable to find the maker. If you are the maker and would like it removed, please contact me.


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