I’m not an ardent fan of social media. As a blogger, I’ve read all the advice that says you must develop a platform. You need to promote yourself to acquire more readers.
Open accounts on Twitter so you can tweet about your blog. Post your blog photos on Instagram. Plug yourself on Linked In. Use Facebook as a marketing tool; pay to promote your blog.
Advance yourself as a writer by spreading your own publicity on as many social media sites as possible. This kind of advice goes on ad nauseum. At least for me.
Some blog for monetary purposes, I get it. Simple marketing. Fine for those whose blog is a full-time job. Writing, researching, and posting on a blog in addition to managing a plethora of social media sites would require hours and hours each day.
And frankly, that’s not how I want to spend my time. I’m not that kind of blogger. I blog simply because I love to write and I love to connect with others through my writing. Call it what it is – a calling of sorts.
I do believe this calling comes from the Lord I serve. He’s the one who bestowed upon me this talent and passion for writing. He’s the one who entrusts me to use my words to touch the hearts of my readers, to encourage them, to give them a smile on a dismal day, to provide a glimmer of hope, and maybe, just maybe lead them to search for the one true God.
So while I don’t truly promote myself with several social media sites, I do maintain a Mama’s Empty Nest Facebook fan page, where readers may connect with me as an alternative to commenting here.
Facebook, oh Facebook. On one hand, I dislike it intensely because such mean-spirited and nasty things find their way to my news feed. But on the other hand, I can’t bring myself to delete my account, either my blog fan page or my personal one, even though I have been oh, so tempted.
Facebook is a dichotomy for this Mama because as much as I rail against it often times, in other ways I truly like it.
It enables me to keep in touch with folks I haven’t seen in many years. Having resided in various areas of the country, we’ve left a string of friends and acquaintances in each place we once called home.
Prior to Facebook’s emergence, the only way we kept in touch with most of them was through exchanging cards and letters at Christmas time. Some we inadvertently and regretfully lost contact with completely.
Facebook corrected that wrong. Connections made there now enable me to view little snippets of our far-away friends and loved ones’ lives through this social media. I smile at their photos. I enjoy their funny statuses. I learn that they are in need of prayer. It is a wonderful way to keep in contact and for that I can say I’m grateful.
This crazy social media site seems like a weaving to me. It interlaces lives in and out of one another. When it shows me a list of mutual friends, I view it as a giant tapestry. Your life interwoven with mine, in an unusual way to be sure, but still linked together by a thread of commonality.
Recently, that happened. That thread of commonality. Opening my personal FB account one morning and scrolling through my news feed, I paused at a friend’s status and decided to comment on her wall. While noticing other comments, one jumped off the page at me. I didn’t recognize the writer’s last name, but I wondered if it was my friend’s relative, a woman I had known as a child.
So I did what everyone does – I ‘stalked’ by clicking on the second woman’s profile. I recognized her from her photos even though we have all become – ahem – mature, shall we say?
I knew she had married and moved away from our hometown many years ago, which was why I didn’t recognize her last name. Then I noticed something a bit astonishing. Even though this woman lived in another state far away from me, we had a second mutual Facebook friend in common in that state.
Huh, I thought. What are the odds of that? Our Facebook friend in common just happened to be a blogger friend of mine.
That ‘six degrees of separation’ thing, I reasoned. Wikipedia describes that phrase’s meaning: “Six degrees of separation is the idea that all living things and everything else in the world are six or fewer steps away from each other so that a chain of ‘a friend of a friend’ statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps.”
All of that to say, Disneyland got it right, it truly IS a small world. And we are all woven together by threads of common ground or interaction in some way, our lives entwined by some close connection.
I can’t even recall how many times I have experienced those connections but another one stands out in my mind. Over 25 years ago, a job promotion for Papa took our family from the Midwest, where we had comfortably settled, to the Pacific Northwest, where we knew not one soul.
During our first few weeks residing in our new home in our new town in our new state in our new area of the country, we began a search for a new church home. A place not only for our family to worship our God but a place we would feel connected, at home, with folks who felt like family.
On our very first Sunday visiting the church that did become our “home away from home,” we were welcomed with friendly greetings and warm smiles. During a meet and greet time, we conversed with a couple in front of us.
As we answered their questions about being new to the area and where we had moved from, we also mentioned where we were originally from – an Eastern state clear across the country. Faces lit up like a Christmas tree when the gentleman said, “Really?? I’m from there too!”
A tapestry moment. We both grew up in the same part of our state; his family belonged to the same church denomination as mine; our home churches were actually in the same district. And there was someone we both knew – a common thread.
All of those common threads mingled together form a web. A tapestry of life. Of friendship. Of being connected to our fellow human beings.
And that’s why I will, most likely, choose to keep logging into Facebook to share my blog posts there where many of my readers turn to read Mama’s Empty Nest. It’s the same reason I continue to impart my thoughts in writing here on my blog. It’s about connecting with you, my readers.
You are my tapestry, a lovely interweaving of my life with yours. And I’m very grateful for that.
“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.” ~Herman Melville