The more time you spend on sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, the more benefit you derive from the experience. I often find it hard to describe a lot of the personal benefits I get beyond connections and fast access news, but after a little creative thinking I’ve put together five unapparent benefits to social networking:
5. An insatiable thirst for knowledge
I honestly can’t remember if I was like this before and it was amplified, or if it’s a new quality all together, but I’ve definitely noticed that I now crave knowledge. I need to learn more and I need to at least skim Twitter to see what’s happening in my community/country/the entire world. Even on weekends and days off I’m always checking my phone (when appropriate! Not in the rude anti-social way!)
4. A newfound willingness to take risks
Or perhaps I mean the ability to take more calculated risks; when you’re exposed to more, you can make better decisions. For example, if I wanted to start a business helping restaurants with marketing, before I would maybe look up a few web sites, makes some calls and try to get an understanding if there were a need for such a service and if my potential client base would be willing to pay. However, without a lot of money to do proper market research (let’s face it-most entrepreneurs definitely don’t have money for it), I’d have to rely on a very small number of opinions based on my limited time to do said research on my own. However, now I can simply passively research this info through Google and various social networking sites, poll or survey my Twitter followers and Facebook friends and I can get a better glimpse of the risky industry and whether or not my idea will fly. Sure it’s still not as accurate as proper research, but it’s a whole lot better than what I was going to do.
3. A humbled world view
I admit, I’ve often been a “big fish in a small pond” kind of person. I exceeded in school and many hobbies/sports but mostly participated in small communities, as is pretty normal in the offline world. Secondly I’ll admit I’m a bit of a competitive person, not in a malicious kind of way, but in the sense that I’m always looking to benchmark myself against others, so I can work on improving. Well online there are so many more people doing whatever it is you’re trying to do. It’s humbling–which is awesome because it gives you a great sense of how *much* you can improve. And yes, on the flip side this can also be discouraging, but we all know the best out there know how to persevere!
2. A stronger sense of confidence
Especially as a writer (or any creative field) you always practice your craft with a certain level of vulnerability. You’re putting yourself out there. It’s scary. People will judge you. You might make a mistake. To me, it seems like whenever I’ve gone too far and lost my sense of what I’m doing, the community around me chimes up with words of encouragement. Even when things go wrong, there will always be someone backing you up and cheering you on.
1. An optimistic view of the world
OK maybe you’ve caught on that I’m generally an optimistic person… But I’m talking about something bigger. For all the awful things going on in the world, it’s amazing to see people band together for the greater good. There are so many great examples, but most timely is @unmarketing‘s Tweetathon for Tanner (go on, read the whole story and try not to shed a tear!) it ends tomorrow at 9 pm and since earlier today has already raised over $8,000 for a very worthy cause. Also take any natural disaster–even the most recent floods in Pakistan, a simple search shows many tweets urging help and many have been retweeted hundreds of times.
Have you noticed the same? Do you have others I haven’t mentioned here? Please share! (Especially because I’m super excited that I finally have Disqus running on here! Yea, sometimes I’m not such an early adopter–and this blog gets neglected.)