Three years ago, I wrote a bit about being thankful for social networking. As I looked back over posts from previous Thanksgiving Holidays here in the US, I was struck by what I wrote then, and how much more it applies to my life now:
As we in the US get ready to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow, many of us like to blog about the things we are thankful for. Each year, as I dwell on that thought, certain things always come to the forefront. I’m always thankful for the life I have, for the people who love me, for our health and well-being, etc. This year isn’t any different, I recognize how incredibly lucky and blessed I am to have what I have, but at the same time I’m also feeling thankful for all of the connections I’ve made through the wonders of technology, especially social networking.
In the 8 years since I started a technology blog, which has morphed into this site, then adding the Child Abuse Survivor site, and things like Twitter and Facebook, I’ve gotten to know so many wonderful people that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to know. I’ve reconnected with friends from long ago, and had the opportunity to keep in better contact with my large Irish-Catholic family that has managed to spread it’s way across the country. I’ve been able to use the tools to learn more about the people I see regularly, connecting with them over shared interests, learning more about my coworkers and friends than I managed to learn before.
Three years ago, I was living in the same city as my immediate family, and most of my closest friends also lived nearby. When I embarked on this great journey of living in the South in 2011, I had no idea just how much I would come to rely on those same technologies to keep in touch with the people I was leaving behind in Ohio. In 2012, as I have again seen more change in my professional life, change that requires me to spend so much time traveling around the country, I am once again reminded of how much more dependent I am on technology to stay in touch. Whether it be Facebook posts and photos, Tweets, emails, texts or cell phone calls, I know that no matter where I happen to be on a given day, I can easily reach out the the people who are most important to me, and they can easily reach out to me.
If you do nothing else this weekend folks, spend a moment taking advantage of the wondrous technology we have and say hello to the people you can’t be with on this holiday.