You are who you follow. Or are you?
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You know the old adage “you are what you eat?”
Is the same true for our social networks?
Reflecting on groups of people I typically surround myself with (i.e. not in social networks), I see many similarities. Whether we share similar interests, culture, hobbies, jobs or even looks (yes, it’s true) things are, well, similar. This is not to say I do not greatly value these relationships or relish in the fact I share a commonality with so many.
What is interesting is that my social networks do not reflect this life long trend. An interesting, and new, path is taking opening right before my very eyes.
My social networks are much more diverse, eccentric and evolving than those I’ve developed through face-to-face encounters.
How is this happening?
For me it’s a conscious effort. I’m intentionally connecting with people who have different: interests, geographic locations, political views, etc… I’m like a kid in a candy store. The whole world (i.e. virtual world) is a candy buffet and I’m stuffing my face. The trick is to not get burned out or suffer a severe sugar overdose! I want to connect with people, learn about them and share our knowledge.
On social network tools like Twitter, I use the search function and type in a particular word, like “Jerusalem.” I decided one day I didn’t know anyone who actually lived in Jerusalem and it was time to meet someone. I repeated this concept on Twitter and other social networks and amazing things began to happen. These people were also seeking out different people to connect with.
Beautiful relationships are forming and, for me, my life feels even more fulfilled.
If I am who I follow, then I can think of no greater compliment.