This post is in response to Leigh Caraciollo’s “Social Media Impact on You” post on Talent Revolution today. Leigh asked, “How has social media changed your life, or the lives of others, in a positive personal or professional way?”
In the last year, I’ve received numerous tips on technologies for work, including several free or low cost applicant tracking systems or SaaS options for our HRMS. I bounce ideas off Twitter friends and Ben Eubanks helps me with WordPress questions. When I offer a great resource at work, my boss asks me the source; and usually these days the answer is: Twitter. I’ve been named as a career resource on several people’s blogs, e.g. Anita Santiago’s the Workforce Connection. I was quoted in a Washington Post article on Anne Frank/Miep Gies; the author, Monica Hess, found me after I sent a tweet about what a great blogger Anne Frank would have been, if only she’d had the opportunity. I won $100 in Joan Ginsberg’s social media contest and had a whole lot of fun giving my winnings to charity over the space of a week.
None of these things would have occurred without social media.
The biggest benefit I’ve gained from social media has been the constant learning; both passively as I read others’ work, and actively as I’ve constantly learned new technologies, applications, and online cultures. We’ve all heard the reports that humans only use a tiny percentage of their available brain power. Since I have been engaging in social media, I know I am using a larger proportion of my brain than before and I can practically feel new synapses forming and building! Participating in Twitter and blogging has immersed me in a sea of constantly new and changing ideas, all the latest and greatest thought from some of the top, forward-thinking names in my field who ask insightful questions, challenge the status quo and get me thinking, questioning and trying new things. Going back to school at Twitter University has reinvigorated my work and jump-started my own creativity in so many ways.
I’ve made some wonderful connections with HR professionals through Twitter. Online we are often encouraged to take our virtual relationships full-circle; and so we talk on the phone, email, and sometimes tweet-up or meet at seminars and un-conferences. Another thing I love about Twitter is it’s a great leveler. As an inspiring HR pro, you can have conversations with everyone from students to VP’s of HR, SPHR’s, CEO’s, recruiters, employment attorneys, big name bloggers, and more. Almost without exception, people have graciously shared their wisdom and thoughts with me, as I hope I have with them.
How has social media enhanced my life? Learning, creative expression, connections…with a few other nice surprises thrown in. I look forward to seeing what the next year will bring!