It wasn't that long ago that I was reminiscing about the days when I just sent out a postcard to announce a studio event or an art festival. I did not have an email list yet and of course the term "social media" was not part of our everyday vocabulary.
I am thinking about this because tomorrow is the day Facebook is converting all "pages" over to the "timeline" format and I spent the morning uploading photos and designing my new page.
Besides Facebook, there is now Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, Constant Contact and quite a few more platforms from which one can engage and interact with thousands of people. This is fantastic, but it's also overwhelming.
I only signed up for Facebook because is was suggested as part of an online class I was taking with Alyson Stanfield of artbizcoach.com. When I took the plunge, I used an email address no one knew about and only "friended" the other artists in the class. I wasn't in a hurry to put myself out there, but I couldn't hide forever and was amazed how many people "found" me!
There are times when I just want to trash the whole thing and go back to the "good ol days". Then I think about the people I have connected with, that without these sites I would have never known. In addition, there are quite a few people that I casually met at an art festival or my studio, that I now count among my friends (in real life, not just Facebook) because the interactions online made it possible for real relationships to form. What I also love is Facebook "friends" of mine have become friends with each other!
The other day I was complaining that some of these social media sites feel like high school. Since I could not wait to graduate, lets just say that feeling like I am back in that environment is painful. I compare myself to others and feel like I don't measure up to the "popular" kids. This is crazy, I know, but I am being honest.
Social media is not going away and if I can participate in way that feels authentic and natural, I will be happy. I think it just takes practice and a willingness to let go of the fear of someone judging you because of something you said or a photo you posted. This is as true in the real world as much as it is online, probably more so. Either way, I struggle with this at times and I know holding back is not how I want to be. I would like to say I am grateful for all the opportunities to practice being real and open, but sometimes I just want to close the blinds and forget about it. I know I am not the only one who feels this way and that makes me feel a little bit better.
While we are on the subject...........if you haven't already done so, visit my "page" on Facebook. Here is the link: Facebook