I’m missing a tweet-up in Raleigh, tonight. I’m bummed. I have to work. By working, I mean that I have to go to another town and talk about some stuff. Then I get to have dinner with friends that I initially met through the internet.
Man, the internet is something else!
Back in the day, I thought the internet was going to change my life. I had a cat. He was cute. I had my own blog with a ton of traffic, too. I remember counting my social media followers and thinking THIS THING IS GOING TO CHANGE MY LIFE.
I was right. It did.
The internet has been good to me. I started a blog and ended up working on my writing skills. I earned a few readers and escaped my life as a boring HR lady while still working as an HR lady. That’s a two-for-one right there. The ultimate hustle, baby.
When I felt brave enough to leave my job, I did.
Thanks to George Bush and the economic crash in 2008, the internet gave me an opportunity to be helpful. I offered career advice during the Great Recession. Since that terrible time, I have been a coach, a cheerleader, and a big sister to a lot of people.
Dang it, I was almost a reality TV star! The internet is okay!
Whenever I blame Facebook or SwarmApp for the things that are wrong in my life, I remind myself that I’m in charge. My problems are my fault. I can’t blame Twitter when I’m cranky around my husband. I can’t blame Instagram when I don’t feel creative. I am an adult. I can make choices with my time and attention.
In fact, I should be more thankful.
The internet has given me an awesome life. Everything I hated about my old career is gone because of the goodness of social media. I’ve traveled around the world and lived a bigger life than I ever expected thanks to my stupid blog. And tweet-ups, especially those in Raleigh, have introduced me to some of the most important and beloved people in my life.
(My husband and I drive 25 minutes to watch Homeland at our friends’ home just because we love them so much. I met those people at a tweet-up!)
Of course, the internet has a downside. Yes, I’m addicted to social media. My time management skills are poor, and sometimes I have to put my phone in the garage and get away from it all. But life is infinitely better because of the connections and opportunities that have materialized through the internet.
In fact, I’m nearly breathless when I think about how my life has changed over the past 12 years. I feel like there’s more space for creativity, love and entrepreneurialism thanks to the changes I made in my life when I started blogging. And I’m also overwhelmed when I consider how many good friends I’ve made through local and industry tweet-ups and networking events.
So I hope you don’t beat yourself up for having an addiction to your iDevice.
I hope you don’t beat yourself up when you take a risk on the internet and it doesn’t initially pan out, either. They say that formal education will make you a living, but self-education will make you a fortune. I say that my self-education has happened through my experiences on the internet, and I’m forever grateful for the lessons it has taught me.
(And have fun at the Raleigh tweet-up, everybody!)