Monday, September 29, 2014

An Adventure in Finding Yourself in the Social Media-Driven Age

“Get lost and find yourself.” 

I heard this adage in my earlier awakening-to-self years. Perhaps you’ve heard it too. Every so often it is ignited by my life’s experiences, taking on greater depth and pertinence. My recent trip to San Francisco is no exception. Added to this, just before I left for this trip, I met a fellow spiritual junkie, and as I drove him home and heard his story, I and was reminded that this is more than just a tagline. The best way to find who we are is to unroot ourselves and transplant to another place for a while. Here, we see who we are, and what core values we take with us, whether for a short travel to clear our mind’s palate and rejuvenate body and soul, or for a more substantial shift.

The difference now in the current age of social media is the way we can find ourselves. 

FINDING MY WAY via SOCIAL MEDIA

The days of printing out itineraries from piles of brochures and magazines are … well, alive and well still, I suppose. But for the social media-savvy generation, if you can access and dare to navigate the networks of social media for a little while, what you find can be quite inspiring and intriguing.  Rather than reading generic print from a magazine, we can connect and commune with a much more ALIVE thread to a place.

As I arrived in San Francisco, I began exploring the hashtags #SanFrancisco, #SanFran, #SF, and through these found even more hashtags to use, like #bayarea, or #bayareaatnight. It’s one of the quickest ways to get to know the local vibe and vernacular of a place

The point of Social Media # hashtag exploration is that it can, at its best, be extremely intuitive and user-friendly. What are my interests? What do I like to explore? For me, enter #yoga, or #coffee, plus #SanFran, #SF, into Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Oh, by the way – don’t forget to mark your location on those Instagram snapshots. I always get the most immediate hits from these markers. 

SOCIAL MEDIA IS LIVE

Take my stay in San Francisco. I arrive at my hotel, I tweet @ the hotel name and post a picture. This blasts out to the hotel and they give me a friendly response sometimes within minutes. 

Here is a little conversation I had with @SoulsofSF on Twitter after finding her pictures and profiles of people living in San Francisco. 


As I peruse Instagram, I find a picture of a dancer posing in front of eye-catching Greek or Roman-style stone columns. This leads me to her profile, leading to another picture tagging the location. I explore the hashtag of this a place, a museum, which leads me to more galleries and stunning pictures, and finally, my own visit the next day. #success.



SOME TIPS

  •  Explore the local Facebook groups and pages. See which ones have the most followers and the most recent posts
  • Twitter and Instagram are less innocuous than Facebook (if you’re worried about coming off as weird or stalking)
  • Use whatever search terms are pertinent and intuitive to you
If you need more options, explore more hashtags and see what’s most current. You’ll find things in a way more personal than you could have ever imagined compared to pages of a brochure. 


EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED

In the universe where everything is connected, Social Media sharing follows this archetype. It’s a practice of little bit of reasoning, intuition, and the Law of Attraction, if you think about it. 

So while you may roll your eyes at those silly pictures of iced tea with a mint sprig and Mayfair filter, know that those GO somewhere; they do matter!

That’s why I use it. Take a picture. Post it. See who likes it, see who they are, where they’re from, and if this leads you anywhere. It takes seconds of tapping your finger, literally.

Social Media, isolating? Too easily lost in the virtual world? Not in my experience. Use it! See just how you find yourself. 


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 



To catch glimpse of my trip to San Francisco, see my Instagram and Twitter posts from August 25-27, 2014. 


Since this trip, I continue to follow @soulsofsanfrancisco on Instagram, and you should too! Really fascinating pictures and stories. Talk about keeping ties to a place. 



3 comments:

  1. What a great blog! I love using the power of social media to connect with people and friends all over the world. It's a great tool to explore events, local happenings, and your surroundings from people in the know. Great tips!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is a lovely twist on one of my persistent frustrations. Beautifully written, too!

    ReplyDelete

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