Have you ever noticed how much technology has made our lives more connected? I’m not talking just about connected through fitness and cooking and photography. I’m also talking about the connection with people.
I clearly remember the first time I was blown away by the power of tech. When my father was critically ill, we had just started using smartphones. My mom and sister had an iPhone and I had a Blackberry. We had not had them very long, but they were much more into Facebook than I was. But over the course of that long month in the hospital, we repeated “the power of Facebook” many times. That was how we connected with the many many people in our lives. That was how we let people know what was happening, what we needed, what to put on church prayer lists, and who we needed to see in person to get that hug. Ever since then, we have been on Facebook, connecting with our school and work friends and our big extended families. It is how we knew so quickly that my sister was having a boy! It is how everyone in my circle knew how bad my Friday was at school. It is how I knew a friend I had never met in person was struggling with a hard decision about a beloved pet. I felt her pain. I will remember her when I have to go through that with my beloved Frankie. Through social media, we stay connected.
We use technology for more than just keeping up with each other in social media. In a couple of quick years, I found myself using tech gadgets for running and CrossFit. I love a pencil and notebook, but I know my Dailymile account will have all my stats through the years. I know my CrossFit app will have all my weights and max reps. I know my official race times within hours thanks to chip tracking. I wear a GPS that talks to a satellite in space. That same satellite is talking to my phone when I get lost. Notice I said “when”. I’m a realist
But what I use most in technology is keeping informed within the running community. This goes back to social media. I have “virtual friends” in the running community through Fitfluential. We keep up with our horrible training runs, what is working in nutrition, how the new shoes feel. Having a group of people know I’m about to do 10 miles is a huge motivator when I might would rather sit on the back porch with ice packs in 90* heat.
I’m a kindergarten teacher. Times have drastically changed. I have 5 year olds that know their way around an iPad but do not speak a word of English. When I give them translation games, their eyes light up. They are GLUED to those apps that tell them English translations for common items in school. That is something I cannot do. I’m a great teacher and we are teaching children to read in English. But those babies love having a tool in their language while they are making the transition to being bilingual. Technology allows me to use a Smart board to instantly bring books, math, and history to life right in front of them. Our kids today will grow up immersed in technology. I do not plan to get left behind. Because I teach, I stay well connected to the educational technology opportunities when they are presented.
For me, one of the most enjoyable things I do besides run is blog. When I first started, I had no idea what CSS was all about. I didn’t know Akismet from an editorial calendar. But I taught myself through many sad Saturday afternoons or summer days how to design and tweak my blog. I learned how to use HTML to make great things happen here. When blogging first started, I never thought I would be able to learn how to do it. Technology helped me learn how to be better at technology. It’s a never ending circle. It always comes back around to where you started, where you branched off, or where you want to keep going. Technology connects us.
Have a great weekend and do something worth posting about on Facebook or Twitter
What about you? Do you use social media often to stay connected?