When I first jumped into social media, I skipped MySpace altogether and went straight for Facebook. I did it for the games. I kept my friends list pretty small and limited mostly to “real-life” friends and family.
I mentioned before that my husband is a cop. Cops are – both by nature and by training – suspicious of everybody. Most of them have a motto: “In God we trust, everyone else gets run NCIC” (that’s the National Criminal Information Center database for those non-cop types out there). I often pick up on his tendencies, so I was pretty suspicious of social media and its informational free for all.
But as I went on, I got more comfortable. I started learning more about what to watch for and ways to protect myself. Then I started to get a little brave.
I joined an author’s group – Where Writers and Author’s Meet – and I started to talking to complete strangers (if you are as introverted as I, you know what a big deal this is; if you are an extrovert – go ask one of your intro friends – I’m sure they’ll explain it to you). We connected over a shared interest and shared struggles like plot holes and character arcs and publishing questions.
I met some incredible people!
I met Virginia, who writes sci-fi and is dedicated to helping other writers find their way. I met Victoria who loves science and religion and discovering all the wonders the universe holds. I met Stuart who is one of the silliest, quirkiest guys I know and is always there to make me smile. I met Jim, editor, teacher, and author who is always willing to offer any help he can. And Morgan who lives and breathes poetry, dancing, and joy for life.
Encouraged by my initial success, I decided to join another group – one
a bit way outside my comfort zone (an even bigger deal than meeting other writers) because I wanted to research magick and its uses for my writing work in progress.
I met Kat, who has an adult autistic son, and I am blown away by her strength and devotion. I’ve seen her struggle with her life’s ups and downs, and I’ve shared her joy as she came out the other side. (I’m crying a little right now because I am so in awe of her.)
Through an argument over our differing beliefs, I became friends with Tammy who has, since then, been one of my greatest supporters and has become the unofficial head of my cheering section.
I met Ivy – an amazing witch and Faerie friend who has answered my incessant and obsessive questions about the Faeries. Click her name to see her blog, and she’ll tell you all about them, too. I must not neglect to mention her Faerie friends as well. Through her, I met them (in a manner of speaking), and they have been most helpful as well.
I have met teachers and students of many arts, crafts, and sciences. I’ve met artisans and artists. I’ve reconnected with incredible people from my past and with members of my own family.
I’m still careful with what I share on social media because you really never know who you’re going to meet. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’ve become anything even resembling an extrovert (even on a social media level), but I’m really glad I stepped out of my comfort zone.