With a Little Help From My Friends: Encouragement and Motivation On-Line


People often ask me why Ilike social media technologies so much. After all, this idea of living one’s life so openly, transparently, sharing almost everything – from the most mundane to more complex – seems on its face to be … well … plain silly. There are solid business reasons to use things like Twitter, Facebook and many of the myriad social networks and platforms, but from a personal perspective why the hell would anyone care?

For me, it’s more than just business connections, getting news or seeing what my friends are up to – though these are top reasons Iswim deeply in the social media stew. However, over time these technologies have become something far more important. They have become a remarkable and instant source for motivation.

The beautiful thing about existing in a world where people are never more than a mouse click away is that in those moments when one hits a wall – whether personal or professional – you need only reach out and you can find an amazingly rich, powerful and (in those personal times) gently compassionate source for help.

There are some people whose very presence on-line is infused with proffering motivation. Crusing through my Tweetstream each morning, seeing these sorts of comments, quotes and links it’s common that someone’s insight or personal mantra of the day serves as the perfect complement to my morning coffee.

On a deeper level, there are times when those ever-so-slender threads of digital connection offer people a lifeline of sorts. As Iwrote in this post here on dot429, there are occasions on which the simple act of talking with others can help ease a challenging life situation. It need not be so dramatic of course. It can be something as simple as finding oneself battling inertia over a trip to the gym. A quick Facebook status update or Tweet on the matter in my experience never fails to warrant at least one (usually several) virtual kicks in the posterior to get me moving.

When it comes to hitting roadblocks professionally, this same “hey you can do it!”nudge factor still applies. Many a time I’ve found myself with writer’s block and commented about it. On several occasions people have offered up tips for breaking loose from this state and in another case, a friend who turned out to be nearby dragged me from my desk for a cup of coffee and conversation – after which Ifound my writing wheels happily greased.

Whether for work or in personal matters, the encouragement from the digital masses can bust open the doors and free you to move forward.

About The Author

What began for me as a career telling other people’s stories has evolved into a journey of helping others tell their stories for themselves. I'm a “classically trained” Journalist whose passion for communications began with my first job ripping wire copy in 1982 and has evolved to encompass nearly every platform and aspect of media – from reporting and editing to broadcast management, talent casting and guest booking. I've also curated content for several of the tech industry’s leading conferences. It was after finding myself engaged as an activist for LGBT equal rights that I began to explore the way in which personal stories inform and influence people’s everyday lives and I began using my tech background to teach people to make these connections of personal stories, using new technologies as the medium. Presently I run my own consulting firm in San Francisco, working with companies and individuals helping them navigate the crowded waterways of new technologies with the express purpose of leveraging these rapidly evolving platforms to tell their stories. Through workshops, seminars and strategic consulting services, I walk clients through the story-telling process and towards the kind of deep engagement that comes from truly authentic communication.

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