Social Media Matters

This evening I was planning to go running with the Dashing Whippets, and do a fun (well, I guess that’s a relative term) training workout involving intervals and lactate threshold and all that good stuff.  I got my running clothes on, filled my water bottle, and headed out to the bus stop…and the bus didn’t come.  I’m sure it came eventually, but it didn’t come soon enough for me to be able to get to the group run meeting location.  So I headed back home, feeling annoyed by the MTA (but what else is new?) and unenthusiastic about running alone.  Once inside, I sat down on the couch, felt grouchier than I had been earlier in the day, and whined about it on Twitter:

Ugh, what a whiny baby.  But the whining paid off, because within a couple minutes I got a reply from Erin, whom I know only through Twitter, with a really good reason to get up off the couch, and get my butt outside for a run.  Three miles later, I’m back on the couch, but instead of feeling like I sat back and watched an opportunity pass me by because my bad mood got the best of me, I feel like I accomplished something.  It wasn’t the best run, but it was something, and I feel significantly better than I did before I went.

I’m the first to admit that when Twitter first came into being, I felt it was completely unnecessary and that the people who used it were undoubtedly annoying and narcissistic.  You know, I’m very generous and open-minded that way.  In addition to that, it just seemed extraneous since Facebook and blogging had already made it pretty easy to keep tabs on what everyone was up to.  I was one of those people who was opposed to it because the last thing everyone needed was to be more plugged in to their device of choice.

But as I’ve come to use Twitter (as well as Facebook, and Google reader, and other forms of social media) more and more, I’ve also come to appreciate its value.  Rather than cheapen my interactions with people, it has put me in touch with amazing individuals I wouldn’t otherwise know.  I’ve been able to tap in to a community that has been supportive, enriching, and educational for me.  To say that it has opened doors for me may sound cheesy, but it’s also undeniably true.

Through Twitter, I found the motivation I needed to go out for a run; I’ll post about that run on DailyMile, and probably comment on some friends’ workouts as well; my DailyMile feed will then be posted on Facebook (and Twitter), and may get some comments there; and even though it was just a three mile run, it will reinforce the fact that I’m lucky enough to have found or have been found by some really cool people, whose presence in my life I really value.  And I think that’s pretty cool.

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  1. For the longest time, I thought Twitter and the Blogworld were for lame weirdos who couldn’t find real life friends…but some of the people I have met online ARE some of the best people I know in life…no joke.

    Thank God there are the good folks to off set the Charlie Sheens of the world…

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