A few years ago, I got a new Blackberry phone. I’m a big fan of those smart phones! My previous Blackberry had breathed its last breath and it was time to get a new one. As the new phone arrived and I was getting used to it, I saw the Facebook application pre-installed on it. I was so upset!
I got on the phone and called the service provider to complain that they pre-installed this social network application on my phone. “I don’t do social networking,” I said, “Tell me how to get rid of it!” The representative told me that it comes with the device so I couldn’t uninstall it. But I could just ignore it and use only the applications I find useful. I got off the phone annoyed that they were trying to get me into social networking.
Fast-forward the clock to today and here’s the life of Rodrick Walters – as I write this, I have over 1,400 Facebook friends, over 300 fans of the Upbeat Dad Facebook page, over 600 followers on Twitter and we’re rapidly approaching 10,000 pageviews on this blog. I mean, I only launched the Upbeat Dad just under 4 months ago. Not bad for a guy who hates social networking huh?
So what happened between these two extremes? How can a guy who hated social networking become such a dedicated professional at it now? Well, here’s what happened:
I decided that I’d bite the bullet and go the social networking route but I really didn’t have time to waste - remember I was trying to grow a business. What’s transpired over the past 2-3 years has been simply magical and amazing! I’ve developed the audience that I’’ve been seeking since the mid ‘90s. I pretty much became transparent and shared who I am – listening to others, sharing my thoughts on subjects and engaging in productive dialogue.
This was great – and before long, I shut down my other blog because to me, I was sharing the same information but now on Facebook. And that social network is a dominant force on a global scale! A client of mine now even calls me, “Mr. Facebook!”
I have on-going dialogue each day with people across the world – on practically every continent. I get ideas on parenting that I haven’t thought of previously. And I share my perspective on different matters. And it’s all productive and life-enhancing. To me, as long as we are breathing, there’s always the opportunity to learn something new. And with the speed of the internet, messages as far away as Australia literally come to me in seconds. The world has really become a small place thanks to the internet and the power of social media!
As we’re getting ready to launch the public event part of our vision with the Upbeat Dad Community Forum in two weeks, I’m excited that finally I can begin making some headway into establishing and contributing to charitable causes around the world. I have made contributions before but not to the extent that I’m about to embark on. The earthquake in Haiti, for instance, has uprooted the lives of so many. And there are orphans left to wonder if there is any hope. Single mothers all over the world find it hard to make ends meet. Fathers die in war and families are left shattered. And the list goes on.
Remember the song, “It’s a small world afterall?”Well, with social media leading the way, ours has indeed become a very small world. We can stand back and let the train move without us. Or we can get on the train and make the most of the ride. We have the opportunity to learn from others as well as to share with others the lessons that have guided us as we all seek to become better parents.