I am the pseudo … or maybe de facto social media expert in my office and run the Twitter account for UW Medicine News. I started tweeting nearly a year and one-half ago and we now have nearly 1,650 followers. I have fun tweeting, see breaking news before others on the team (Mark Emmert leaves the UW for NCAA!) and connect with reporters and partners in the community.
That sounds so boring … but it’s true. And I like trying to be creative in 140 characters or less (incl. the condensed URL) while still relaying serious information/news. If Tom Paulson can do it on his Humanosphere blog, then I can do something similar on Twitter.
A few weeks ago, I was having a bad day. Boy trouble, can’t make up his mind kind of badness. Tears the night before that wouldn’t stop. @SeattleCCA sent a comment to me and asked if I was having a good day. I needed to vent. I felt sad, hurt and I didn’t feel like covering up, even if @SeattleCCA was a complete stranger.
So I responded to @SeattleCCA directly, and said I was having a bad day. Boy trouble. It helped just to vocalize it, instead of pretending. I could pretend with people in the office, after all, or among the strangers on the street. Megan wrote back, offered support and kind words. I felt silly and smart, because I had been truthful, and it just seemed right. We exchanged direct messages the next day, when it was a better day for me and I knew, as corny as it might sound, that I’d made a new friend via the social mediasphere.
Megan and I met for coffee today before work. It had snowed and she wore a cute pink and white hat. I had my blue Anthropologie hat on (see Facebook page for details). We chatted about work, boys, Colorado, Texas and upcoming holidays. My boy story has turned around although, boys being boys, one doesn’t always know what will happen.
We plan to meet up again and maybe grab other Twitter buds (@HutchinsonCtr @SeattleChildrens), too. I’m of course still glad I shared what I did, even if it could have been totally awkward and even if it made me feel a little silly and equally brave. And now I have a new friend that I know I can count on when I need words of encouragement, advice about work, and stuff – and vice versa. I’ve read that social media creates barriers and you lose the real people or connections. It only does if you don’t reach out, and keep it real. Yo.