Musing: Life online, lessons learned
I can remember when a TV and landline were as good as it got and my first CD player in 90’s caused me to be a figure of envy among my friends. While my parents started with nothing and can now at times find tech at worst intense and overwhelming and at best, frustrating. I – at 28 – have grown alongside technology and feel my generation – while not technically ‘digital natives’ – was one of the first to integrate it into daily life.
And just what has come to pervade every piece of tech we own, from TV’s to mobile phones? Why of course, the net.
I’ve become something of an advocate for the internet and all the good I believe it can do via crowd sourcing, crowd funding and connecting people – personally- the whole world over. However, it is clear to me, you only get back what you put in. I wrote these general tips a while ago for work… here they are updated and expanded upon. I hope you find them helpful ❤
- Be yourself
Many people like to lurk online, sheathing themselves in anonymity and striking out at others but I’m choosing to assume dear readers, that you’re rather nice folks. So my first point is to be yourself. Be open, be honest, don’t try and be something you’re not; it’s exhausting and will not benefit you. If you’re projecting an image then the network you attract will be based on this projection and when it wavers so will your networks faith in you. If you want to make valuable connections with people, be straight up from the outset. Obviously there is a difference between being using an alias for privacy and security’s sake and falsifying a persona. Whichever name you’re creating under make sure that the voice behind it is sincere.
- Don’t be shy
People, whoever they may be, however much you respect and admire them are still just people. The internet makes your heroes and their work so much more accessible and offers up many opportunities. Just be sincere and direct in your approach and you’ll be surprised at what might happen. I’ve shopped with a comic artist I admire, became twitter pals with Sean Von Gorman (The Secret Adventures of Houdini) who is a great source of encouragement (he kicks my ass when I start slacking), modelled for Lou Pimentel (twice!), had Neil Gaiman reduce me to tears of joy and Amanda Palmer show my art on stage. These encounters are a continual source of encouragement. Newfound confidence propelled me to approach others like JRyu and Simon Sinek who are lovely, friendly people happy to chatter. So, because you never know until you try, go say hello to those who inspire you and see what happens.
- Don’t delay
I mean it, go say hello to them, right now! You’ve heard it before but there really is no time like the present; why put off until tomorrow what can be done today? Don’t dither, dally and do not delay – if you do you might miss out on something exciting.
- Talk to people
No-one knows absolutely everything nor can they be expected to. Everything that makes up ‘you’ as an individual allows you a unique perspective often very different from those around you. It is this diversity of passions and skills that means when people work together there is very little they can’t overcome. Plus people are nice to talk to; having the odd chat can help breed happiness and contentment especially when people are comfortable expressing when they’re not feeling so good. No-one should bear burdens alone =]
- Be generous with your time/spend it wisely
Some say ‘Time is Money’ but it is FAR more important than that and thus, when you take a moment to spend time with someone you’re doing something special. Whether you’re having a natter with a stranger whilst queuing for coffee or helping your best friend work through a difficult period. Being generous with your time is rewarding. It helps you get to know people, builds trust and can result in some truly inspiring ideas. As an added bonus it also means – more often are not – these people are more likely to help you in your time of need.
These ideas are so simple but you’ll be surprised how many people complicate their life online. I hope you can reap the benefits of my experience thus far and in the future, teach me something new. If you’ve got anything to add, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Much love x