The few who do are the envy of the many who only watch…
~ Jim Rohn
That is a great quote by Jim Rohn, an American Business Philosopher and one, which to me, sums it up perfectly in this age of all things “Social Media”. Watching others and looking into the lives of others has become the norm and for the most part it is a brilliant tool that brings us all together and stay connected – making distance and miles seem non-existent. Grandparents in England can watch and smile while they watch live video of junior splashing in the waves in Australia. Lovers can skype and facetime when work commitments keeps them apart. Photos can be stored and shared from parties, celebrations and happy gatherings, which can be commented on by all who attended as well as those that didn’t who still want to be a part of it all.
Yes, Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee did a wonderful thing for us and I know, without a shadow of a doubt that I would not be doing what I love to do if it wasn’t for the wonderful thing we now call social media.
Like everything in life there are “Pros & Cons” to this easy accessible tool that is at our finger tips and I am learning that to take the good, You also have to take the bad.
You have to take the swings with the roundabouts. If you want to play the game – you have to take both the Pros, and the Cons – you can’t have your cake and eat it too…
Perception, personalities, ethics, working practices, different values and moral compasses make social media a hotbed for both those who take no time to stop and think before acting, speaking (typing) or considering how it might make others feel and for those on the receiving end.
Hopefully, thankfully, I think I’ve chosen to use social media for the good, within my role as Welshot and the personal side of my life – fortunately I am not the sort of person who dances naked on tables while drunk – choosing to keep my social media personal profiles professional there isn’t a cats hell in chance of that ever happening (if that’s what you are wanting by becoming my friend or following me, you will be sorely disappointed).
I don’t belong in any groups that court controversy and while I have seen and heard of some of the nastiness and downright cruel goings on in these certain groups, I have not had the misfortune to have this in our little community – bringing Welshot to Social Media has meant we have fostered the same happy, friendly, sharing and fun community online as well as offline at our events.
Recently I have been on the receiving end though – attacked for posting a photo of Eifion eating pizza in New York – two days after the Manchester bombings. Someone making a flippant comment about how lucky I am to be having so many holidays, another saying that maybe I was just flaunting it. Someone following behind me, wherever I go on social media and trying to replicate what I do, thinking it is easier than putting in the time, effort and training (and money) themselves to build up a list of contacts and a valuable network of those to collaborate with.
Perception, for those watching in and making a judgement, often instantly and incorrectly has the potential to be a dangerous tool when in the wrong hands.
That pizza – it was eaten on our last full day in New York, the day after I’d spent a good part of the day crying myself into such an inconsolable state that even my best friend and business partner couldn’t help me and just had to let the tide of sadness, despair and anger work their way out of my system. You see, I’d just been back to New York for the first time since 9/11 – where a number of friends perished and on the day of the Manchester bombings I was grieving for all those lost in this world of unrest.
Those holidays – well, it is not luck, it is as a result of patience and hard work… A LOT of patience and hard work. For the last 20 years I had to convince my husband that moving to the UK was not a fad – that it was for real and it was for keeps, because there would be no going back once the deed was done. As for the hard work bit – well, for the last 10 years all I have done is work, every spare moment, every spare penny, every ounce of energy I had, went into building the community of my dreams – a place people could come to and not be judged, no matter their camera or skill level. For nigh on 10 years I have taken no wage, every penny Welshot made was reinvested to grow my dream, I knew that one day – hard work over a short(ish) period of time would pay dividends in the long term and provide me with a job I love to do. The holidays? Well, I finally proved what I have always known, I have stick-ability and I was allowed to sell our house in New Zealand which afforded us the ability to not only invest in what I believe in (Welshot) but to also take some time out to celebrate my 50th.
If, by posting on social media it is seen (perceived) to be flaunting it, well, I am sorry (actually, I am not sorry) but posting online, especially Facebook, is a way of me journaling everything I do in each given year – I have got the MOST amazing book from last year, detailing every day those I talk and interact with, laugh and share with and it is the best memory keeper of this digital age.
The stalker – this is the one that I really don’t get – why would you want to be friends with my brother, my father, my niece, you don’t know them, you will never meet them. I thought I had this sewn up by choosing to show only mutual friends on my personal profile – what I didn’t figure was the lengths people will go to, thinking it is easier to hang off the coat tails of others instead of putting in the work themselves – adding people to your group, to advertise your products and services directly from our group will now only serve you one purpose and that’s to get an instant block and ban… It is not something I would do myself, it’s not part of my make-up or moral compass but if you choose to do it this way then good luck – but don’t expect me to make it easier for you.
I’ve turned 50 now, next month I turn 51 and reaching this age has served me much better than I ever thought it would – somehow, you just instantly, like a switch being flicked on, seemly overnight, suddenly learn not to worry so much, about everything and anything. As long as those who know me, as long as those I love, respect and care about understand (or try to) me then that is all I can hope for. I can’t change the way others perceive me or judge me – I can only be Me. I can only do what my moral-compass and values tell me to do.
Another saying that I love is – Those that matter don’t mind and those that mind don’t matter. Dr. Seuss. Isn’t it brilliant?
Turning 50 has also made me more tolerant, less judgemental and I hope, sincerely, with all my heart, that I will take the time to get to know someone before I perceive them and the way they run the lives.
As long as I continue to put in the hard work, effort and investment into my own dreams and ambitions, have the “Live and Let Be” attitude I can only hope others will afford me the same courtesy.