The Social Good of Social Media

Half full.  That’s how I see my glass.  That’s how I CHOOSE to see my glass.

So, every day…. I use the tools available to me to insure I am seeing something good in my world.  And you know what makes me feel as though things are right in the world?  Seeing something good in yours.

I know…. I know….  I’m one of those cheery – TELL-ME-YOUR-GOOD-NEWS-PEOPLE on Twitter and Facebook.  And, honestly, I’ve seen people tweet general complaints about people like me:

“Don’t those cheery-nothing-is-ever-wrong-in-their-world-people just make you sick?”

27 comments later people are still yelling YES!!!!! and are STILL congratulating themselves on being ‘real’ and not being sucked into the vortex of the fake and happy.

Here’s the thing….  the REAL me IS happy.  The REAL me IS cheery and glass is half full. The REAL me does want to know what is making you happy.

It doesn’t mean I don’t ever have a bad day.  It does mean, I think LONG AND HARD before I share negative. More often than not, I CHOOSE to share positive.  I CHOOSE to ASK for positive.

Because really?  Surrounding myself by happy and positive makes me that much more so.

Let me illustrate.

Today, as I do every day, I tweeted this:

But WHY do I do this?

Tweeting for Good News is Using Social Media for Social Good

1)  This is an EXCUSE TO BRAG. Asking for good news gives wonderful people an opportunity to share something that is truly making them happy – and honestly – they might not share it if not asked.

2) I always ReTweet the good news – Joy is meant to be shared.

3) People share the outrageous and amazing – book deals, astronomical business growth, marathons, successful weight loss, pregnancies and engagements, and the everyday-this-is-really-making me happy: the first snow fall, a healthy child, a chance to sleep in or a favorite meal.

3) What an amazing way to engage – when people share – I LEARN something about them and we often end up chatting long after that first tweet

4) I am selfish.  The good news tweets?  They make ME smile.  So MY day?  Is off to a MUCH better start.

Just look:

After seeing these tweets this morning – and chatting with each of these people, I found myself smiling.

And there it was – I asked for the good news and they gave it.

I shared it.

We BOTH smiled.

And, I PROMISE, someone else who READ IT, smiled too.

Just one of the many reasons I love this space – for the good.

Dear Social Media: Your Take on Our Stolen Photo

Friend – you are a crap shoot.

You are a giver and a taker.

You have put me back in touch with friends from days gone by(thanks Facebook!), but you have also opened the doors to less savory (though flattering) events.

I never expected to see and hear from some of those High School folks again – but I am loving the reconnection. Wait….you’re a mom?  A dad?  And you have kids the age WE WERE when I last saw you?  Crazy.

And the college crew - how mind-blowing to watch them come out of the woodwork with husbands, wives and kids.

To say nothing of my new circle of social media gurus – men and women, mommy bloggers, women entrepreneurs, and work at home gals – all new friends.

TwitterNingStumbleUpon.  I Digg you all.

And then of course, there are our new friends in the Czech Republic. You see, since my family was unwittingly made the poster-children for a local grocery store – I’ve been getting visits from all over the world.

And, hey, new visitors – thanks for stopping by….I know you came to see this:

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the  ’wow-did-that-really-happen-story”, but I like making new friends - feel free to come by again.

You can also see a few other versions of the story by clicking here, or here and here if you speak other languages.

Thank you

Thank you for expressing your opinions so freely about our family’s stolen picture.

I am grateful you have been comfortable enough to tell me you are furious, you are outraged, you are amazed by the ‘small world’ aspect of the story, you think it is crazy/funny/cool – or even that it has reinforced your desire to keep pictures of you and your family offline.

Many of you have contacted lawyers and ‘friends in the know’ on my behalf and offered suggestions on how I might handle this. I am grateful for your thoughts.

This has been an interesting week to say the VERY least. 

I will tell you this – I had no idea something like this could happen, I am floored by the ‘what-are-the-chances’ scenario – I mean, really – a picture is stolen, ends up half way around the world on a store window – and I JUST SO HAPPEN to have a college friend who lives there (and it is someone I’m just recently back in touch with – thanks to Facebook).

I will, of course, keep you updated as this plays itself out. 

This isn’t going away – I know that.

Stolen Picture

So, this is the price we pay for indulging in social media, I guess.

I am thrilled to have reconnected with so many friends on Facebook.  One of them sent me this message yesterday:

Alright, so how’s this for random: I’m in the car, taking my wife for a check up, pass by a new grocery store and notice that they have a picture of you, your husband and two kids on the store front window. Life size. I kid you not. Will take a photo of it later today and send….

What you don’t know from this message: this college friend lives in the CZECH REPUBLIC.

Clearly, my family did NOT take a picture for any advertisements – either here or abroad. And, clearly, whoever hijacked the picture assumed no one would recognize us so far away. Hmmmm…wrong. :)

I’ll admit, there is an element of flattery (I think) to the whole thing.  But still, there is something creepy about knowing our family picture was stolen from one of my sites. This picture has been on my blog, used as a Christmas card and put on a few Ning Networking sites. It is also on my Facebook page (which is one of the reasons Justin recognized us) but my FB page is open only to friends.

Perplexing.

Here is the real picture:

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And here is our modeling debut in Prague.

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According to my friend, Justin, the translation reads:  “We will prepare and deliver your requests in two business days.”

Thanks, Justin for letting me know!

Interesting.  Bizarre. Flattering, I suppose.  But quite creepy.

This picture was taken by a friend of mine, Gina Kelly.  She does give me the rights to the pictures she has taken – and has authorized me to use them on my site, etc.

Your thoughts?

Updated, Saturday, June 6th.  Based on the comments I’m seeing, I feel compelled to clarify a few things. 1) I am the author of this site – Danielle.  Not my husband.  Quite a few comments have been directed to him. 2) I take FULL responsibillity for posting this picture with the incorrect resolution (read: too high).  Clearly, I am not a professional photographer and should have made the resolution smaller and/or watermarked the picture. 3) I used the incorrect term in one of my comments – the photographer did sign a release for me to use the pictures, and certainly, this does not mean I ‘own’ them. 4) While the photographer certainly may sell some of her pictures as stock, she ALWAYS has the subjects sign a model release.  I didn’t sign one for this picture, but would have if she had asked. 5) I posted this story because I think it is INTERESTING – what are the chances a friend who see this ad thousands of miles away? AND because I was SURPRISED it happend. Like many of you commenting, I wasn’t aware pictures could be taken.  If this makes me naive, so be it.  Now I know. And, for the record, I will not stop using pictures of my family on my site – I will however, change the format. 6) I am grateful to the greatest percentage of people who have commented with very interesting thoughts.  However, if you are part of the smaller percentage who are commenting only to say that a member of my family (or all of us) are ugly, I won’t be approving the comment.  I won’t allow it on my site.  I imagine you understand.  Thanks for stopping by!

The Spin Cycle – Social Media and What Gives?

I want your input for The Spin Cycle  on MomTV today- and you know I love it when you participate.

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I have a few great topics lined up for the Wednesday show:

On the heels of last week’s amazing dialogue,

*Is social media (ie blogging, twittering, Facebooking) changing the way we communicate with each other and learn about the world around us?  How? If social media is taking up a lot of our time – what are we eliminating?

*What gives?  When life is overwhelming – and you are balancing everything under the sun – your family, the kids, your home, work (in or out of the home) – what GIVES?  What do you sacrifice?  And is there a way to balance it all?

If you have thoughts you want to share, feel free to post them here – I’d love to know what you think, and of course, I can’t wait for you to join me on The Spin Cycle , Wednesday on  MomTV at 9pm EST – where we keep you current while you balance the world spinning around you.

Make sure to have your webcam  and your opinions ready!  I want you to JOIN the conversation! Don’t forget, anyone can chat, but if you want to join in via webcam, you will have to register with MomTV.

See you then – Wednesday at 9pm EST.