Friday, July 12, 2013

In Praise of Social Media-And A Question for My Readers

Well, the good news is that I may have a house (pending inspection issues I may not be aware of).  If all goes well, I’ll share the logistics of this rent to own house later. Meanwhile, this is good and bad news. The good news is that if all goes well closing will be the fifteenth of August. The bad news is that I am a “summer girl” and my traveling and such have been put on hold due to house hunting, helping my sister pack and sell her home and so on.  It’s all for a good cause, but I could use a dip in the ocean right about now!  Oh, and I’ll be sharing soon but it looks like my home sharing story may be part of a greater article-I’ll let you know when I know.

A little over a year and a half ago, my brother in law and sister in-law set out for a bike ride. It was February in Texas and the first warm day.  About fifteen minutes into the ride, my sister in law hit a tiny patch in the road.  She went fast forward up and over the handle bars, barely having time to stick out one arm. Her face was completely destroyed; her wrist was shattered-all in all though she was lucky.  When they were on their way to the hospital my brother in law used a quick second to post a phone on Facebook, letting everyone know what had happened, and that he would update us when he knew more.

Now, I’m sure that if it had been more serious he would have at least phoned my sister in law’s parents and their children.  In this case though, using his smart phone app eliminated up to ten phone calls in either direction and allowed him to concentrate on the issue at hand. 

If you had asked me even five years ago about Facebook, I probably would have laughed. I might have talked about a business page for my blog or business (although I doubt it), but the idea that I would check in with friends and family daily would probably not have occurred to me. In fact though, the reason I joined Facebook was because I had so many family members-and friends-all over the world that Facebook became an easy communication tool. 

After living in Germany for a total of over ten years, many of my friends are also in the diplomatic corps or department of defense. This means that they are in the California high country, Germany, Hawaii, Italy, New York and everywhere in between. My former priest is in Atlanta. I can keep in touch with those friends on Facebook on a daily basis-and I can share things with them all at once.  This is the big advantage-recently I had a “what say you” question. I could have written an email using a contact list.  But my question was really a two liner with a photo, and by posting it on Facebook, responses were fairly instantaneous.  In this case, “yes” was a sufficient answer, for example.

When my daughter was in Grand Cayman for seven years and we were in Germany, our only way of communication was by traditional phone and email.  Now, still apart, she texts me regularly (yesterday with a picture of her dog sleeping on her new kitchen mat).  We share things on Facebook, and of course we still call and email.  So while I don’t spend a great deal of time on Facebook (normally my morning routine and before bed), I do appreciate it and would be unhappy to see it gone.

Of course, one social media opportunity leads to another and soon one of my friends introduced me to Pinterest-a place where one could, truly spend a day if one chose.  Being a very visual person, as well as someone who is by nature “artsy”, Pinterest is my friend.  I have found flower arrangements, recipes, quilt patterns, travel ideas, you name it. I have also “pinned” more than a few items on Pinterest, as well as finding new blogs and websites.  Pinterest, my friends, is the best thing since ice cream.  Just put in a search term, and you’ll find more than you bargained for
Even with all of the above, I still have a long way to go in when it comes to social media-and this is where I ask my readers.  I'm curious especially about Twitter-and also about Linked In. I started a twitter account for my quilt business, but have never sent a message myself, for example. So I ask my fellow readers. Do you have a twitter account?  If so is it personal, or for your blog and business.  Does it require a lot of time? Right now my goal is to be savvy with all this social media stuff, but also to absolutely limit my time online. Is that still possible with Twitter?  Or is that a social media tool that I should leave behind-at least for now?

Where are you on the social media spectrum these days (if at all)?


  1. Hi Barb, Good Luck\Congratulations on the house. My Mom joined Facebook just to keep up with her siblings, nieces and nephews and such.

    As for Twitter, I joined more our of Curiosity. Working in IT, I like to keep current. I don;t have a business to promote, but my Follows are news, bloggers with a religious bent and younger family members (Cousins, nephews, etc). I have even used it to follow high school football games I did not attend.

    As for LinkedIn, I am currently working as a contractor. I get most of my queries about jobs form LinkedIn. So it is a necessity for a tech job seeker.

  2. Barb, I got a Facebook account about two years ago to keep up with my great nieces and nephews who have very busy lives, and to share a little of my life with them. Now, they are all moving over to Instagram so I will either have to get an Iphone and install Instagram or get my news the old fashioned way - call them.

    I am a Pinterest addict and have a variety of Boards. You are welcome to check them out - (Suzanne Vosbikian)My recipe boards are my favorite and most often used.

    I am on Linkedin but have no business there and should delete the account. Did that a few years ago when I thought I wanted to work part time.

    I have no interest in Twitter.

    I do use my phone a lot to take pictures and send to my daughter when I am shopping for her. I can't scan coupons, etc. Need to get that Iphone.

    Good luck with your house plans. I hope all goes well.

    1. Instagram (slapping head), now there's another one I have not experimented with. I agree, Pinterest is habit forming. I think I will stay away from twitter as well.......

  3. Twitter, yes, because it seems to generate some traffic to my blog, though not as much as it did 2-3 years ago. Takes very little time.

    Facebook, no. No interest.

    Pinterest, yes. I have several boards.

    LinkedIn, ike Suzanne, I have an account but don't use it.

    Google+, yes, because of the importance of Google in the world of blogging and search engine results.

  4. See ..................and I know nothing about Goolge plus at all. Linked in I keep for my busienss, and it does get me some connections.

  5. It's funny, DH got an account so we could keep up with his niece (who lives in another state) and hopefully see photos of their kids ... then they stopped using it ... guess it's not the cool thing any more.
    I'm of two minds about it .. it's nice to keep up, but I'm tired of some folks who constantly post political views. I'm even more tired of the folks who constantly post photos of their latest dinner.
    As for Twitter, I recently set up an account that's related to my job ... it can take as much or as little time as you want.
    I do follow a couple of news outlets, and am finding it's a good way to get a quick update during the day.


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