07 August, 2012

Connected... the POSITIVENESS in Social Networking



It is my belief that people do not effectively use Social Media because of their own negative opinions associated with this medium or ineptness.  Too often we read about people who have encountered internet bullies aka E-Thugs, hackers, murders, psychopaths, stalkers or just your basic creep.  However, I am here to put flight to those negative images.

Over the past 10 plus years, I have been an active user of Social Media.  I remember when I first started there was mainly AOL Chat, with all their "rooms" and a variety of discussion boards where you would interact with others on specific subjects.

Eventually, I moved on to Yahoo Groups.  Yahoo Groups was similar to AOL Chat however because Yahoo was soon becoming the most popular search engine of the time it broaden its scope to also include topic based rooms.  These rooms you could leave public or make private, invite whom you chose or allowed  people to join freely.  Around this time other social networking sites were popping up on the scene, the one that I took a liking to was Black Planet.  Black Planet was designed as a social networking site directed towards people of color.  The subjects, news and content was all generated towards African-Americans, it allowed you to create your own "Pages".  You could alter the color, font, graphics and your pictures all on one page.  Whereas Yahoo just had a profile that you filled out your relevant information on.  The other cool thing about Black Planet is you could scroll through other members pages.  I believe this site was one of the forerunners to many of the dating sites we have currently.

Moving on from Black Planet, there was the ever popular, youthful MySpace.  MySpace stepped up what Black Planet had created. Made it more succinct allowed you to add music playlist, photo slide shows and was not centered around your ethnicity. It also targeted a younger audience,  like Black Planet and other similar sites, MySpace allowed people to connect and build relationships.

Fast forward to 2012, we now have an innumerable amount of dating sites, discussion forums, networking sites by subject and generality which allow many the ability to meet and also build relationships.  Through the years I have definitely connected with hundreds of people via these sites and I have seen several people who were able to do the following

a. build successful business ventures via people they have met on social networking sites
b. build successful and lasting friendships via people they have met on social networking sites
c. build successful intimate relationships via people they have met on social networking sites.

The populous that created successful business ventures have been able to maneuver through the offline and online world in such a way that they have remained relevant and been able to allow their business to grow 100 fold because they tamed the online beast early and understood that in today's society you must have presence as a "shop front" so people are able to gain accessibility to all the worldly pleasures they would obtain if the left their home.

 The segment that created successful and lasting friendships learned how to utilize the online tools of chat, discussion boards, emails and video conferencing to build personal friendships without ever meeting each other offline.  These friendships for some have developed into some of the most genuine and endearing friendships than some have encountered in their offline lives via school, work or organizations.

Lastly, you have a portion of people who skillfully learned how to turn casual conversation into intimate relationships that resulted in marriage or long term relationships.  Through the years, I have only met five couples that were able to accomplish this awesome feat.  Now this is not to say there are not more, but these are the ones that I know about.  I am sure if you ask around you will also find many people who have met their partners online.  Several months ago, I connected with a wonderful lady on Google plus who has a penchant for cooking and food photography.  When I tell you, this woman is awesome in her talent, believe me.  She and I began communicating regularly and she shared that she met her husband through a popular dating site.  Recently, they welcomed a new addition into their family, she gave birth to a beautiful baby.  I also encountered another couple that met on a popular social networking site.  They also were able to build a  wonderful friendship which manifested into a strong relationship and soon they too will welcome a new addition within their family in the winter.

The purpose of this blog is to share the POSITIVENESS within Social Networking.

I can attest, that some of the friends that I count very close to me are people that I have met through the years on social networking.  I encourage people to begin to look at your interactions on the net and not see them as a big ball of harm and negativeness. Push through the stereotypes and fears others share with you that do NOT know how to utilize Social Media.   Realize, just like with anything you must execute wisdom and judgement.  Just like you wouldn't leave all your windows and doors open, then leave your home; you wouldn't place or share all of your life with the wholeness of the internet population.

Stay connected it is the key to all things wonderful in your life!

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