I'll admit, there are a lot of things I could complain about with social media. However, without the broad reach, there are people I would never have met.
- It allows me glimpses into my children's lives. Now that the kids are grown and out of the house, we don't see each other as often. We can share snippets of each other's daily lives, which allows us to still feel connected. We're all busy making a living and don't always have time to catch up on the phone; Facebook and Instagram make it easy.
- It makes the world so much smaller (in a good way). My first foray into social media was MySpace (Whose wasn't? Don't answer that.). I saw that the online world wasn't such a scary place and branched into blogging. Through blogging, I've met and made friends with people from all over the country; friends who pull together when things get tough and celebrate when things are going well. Many of my blogging friendships and morphed into Facebook friendships and I've been lucky enough to meet a handful of them in real life.
- I'm not sure that online dating counts as social media, but without Cupid.com, I never would have met Jay. As you all know, meeting Jay changed my life for the better.
- I have re-connected with people from my past. As things change, it's nice to have a connection with people from the past. We grow older, our lives are not the same as when we were younger, but having a connection with someone who shares the same memories is comforting. We may not be close friends as adults, but we still touched each others lives back in elementary, junior high, high school, and college.
- Social media, particularly Facebook, has helped me expand my professional network. It allows me to keep in touch with people of similar interests and has introduced me to people I would never have otherwise met. I know #3 sounds a lot like #1, but I'm speaking from an author's standpoint here. I have more professional contacts and a network of people I whose experience I can draw upon.
- Social media, when used for good, not evil, offers a platform for discussion. Yes, there is a lot of hatred on social media - it appears that there are a lot of hate-filled people making posts, but if you look past those posts and refuse to engage in them, you'll find a lot of pages that are open to civil discussion. You'll never change anyone's mind or beliefs by yelling and threatening them. Engage in a civil discussion and you'd be amazed at what you can learn about other people and what they can learn from you.