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My Social Media Small Town with Big Dreams, Day 77

May 7, 2010

Last night, I attended this month’s Obliterati event, saw my fantastic friends and met some great new ones.  I heard about someone’s spacious new apartment and art studio in Bushwick, met a woman writing her first book about sex and dating, lent a sympathetic ear to a friend after a breakup, talked with someone about the intriguing prospect of writing a blog post for Spa Week, introduced an awesome guy to my friend The Date Coach, and met Peter Pawlick and his friend who attended the party with a message to spread.

Humanity > the Internet

Peter Pawlick for h>i

Simply stated, Peter wanted the people at this social media party to remember that humans are greater than the Internet.  I imagine his encouraged social media fasts (and perhaps other technology fasts in general) might actually help people find deeper ties in their current relationships, while gaining a more focused opportunity for self-discovery.  On the other hand, my recent dives into the pool of social media have enhanced my life, some relationships, and even my career in ways I never could have expected.

Challenging me to jump out of my comfort zone every day, my blog has given me a restored desire to try new things, meet different people, see varied performances, and brave more auditions.  Through it, I have had the opportunity to review organizations, concerts, and experiences and encourage people to attend worthwhile events.  Shockingly to me, Twitter has provided me an amazing vehicle for promoting friends, concerts, and even a charity or two.  Occasionally, I find the random friend or colleague who busily responds less to phone calls and emails than Twitter, so it sometimes helps me to reach out in a third way and cut through the noise to get his or her attention. I also have a sneaking suspicion that all of my exposure online through Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and even WordPress helps me promote my career in a way I never could have done before, just by regularly reminding at hundreds of people of my existence and hopefully my essence.

Admittedly, seeing status updates, new technologies, deals, and posted opinions not just daily but sometimes all day does wear on one’s attention span.  On the other hand, shared events occur far more often and more easily with the help of the Internet.  Recently, a girlfriend of mine found a cheap studio online and invited some of us to try out belly dancing.  That was a fun bonding experienceGroupon led me to a new friend and great personal trainer, and a newer discount-focused website called Yipit gets delivered daily to my inbox, offering me opportunities to try out classes, food, spa services and more, all gathered from several various daily deal sites according to my interests.  Thankfully, for a writer with a very minimal budget, sites like these help me immensely!

I heard about Yipit and another website I hope to use very soon called Kickstarter from the April 18, 2010 article entitled “Tweet Tweet Boom Boom” in New York Magazine.  Its author, Doree Shafrir, talks about technology-based social media startups in New York, their optimism, and their unusual outlook that technology really can bring people closer together.  Despite the obvious dangers of constantly posting one’s status and location on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and especially Foursquare, I do believe that the benefits far outweigh the threats to safety, especially when we can carefully accept or deny friendship invitations and control our postings.  For a girl who spent four years as a child living in a village in Ohio, I can’t recount how many times a day a big grin develops on my face from running into my friends in the street or even online in this great village of Manhattan.  I never knew a big city could feel to me like such a small town.

A new colleague of mine brilliantly accompanied an audition for me yesterday.  We met briefly at her production of Handel at the Gershwin in early March.  Doubtless she would not have remembered me from only that meeting; however, I wrote a rave review of that event, and she blogged about my post.  Finding her on a website for singers called YAP Tracker, listed as an available accompanist at yesterday’s venue, I called her right away and had a great audition.  Thank you technology and Jennifer Peterson.

When speaking in the hallway afterwards, Jennifer and I talked about technology and media’s impact on relationships and careers.  In response to my mention of the New York Magazine article, she tweeted an article to me about Amish business ethics and how a lack of technology has likely allowed them more reliable percentages of success.  One Amish businessman named  has allowed some technology into his practices, and I think on either side of the h > i argument, we can all agree with his response.  “How far do you let technology affect your business? I guess you just have to stay true to your convictions and draw your own lines and not overdo it where you lose the values and your way of life.”  Here’s to all of my friends and family: a jargarita to celebrate finding ways online and off to deepen our relationships and enhance our lives.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 7, 2010 11:48 pm

    I’m tweeting this, girl. Thanks for the mention. And yes, I received your audition request via twitter many hours before your email. Not sure if that’s good or bad…

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  1. Brasil vs. the Internet, Day 95 « Skydiving for Pearls

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