With all of the scorn being heaped upon social media and its effect on the country in recent weeks, it’s become easy to lose sight of how truly amazing it is to be connected with people you wouldn’t otherwise have met or gotten a chance to talk to.
Before social media, we spent most of our time talking with people we already knew, or going out of our way to try to network. It wasn’t so bad, it was just different. Now we have the opportunity to engage with smart, interesting people all over the world and seek out opinions and viewpoints from anywhere and anyone. Some of this leads to friction and negativity, but most of it – in my own experience – does not. I’m grateful for the many real-world relationships I have that began as a handful of typed words between people on an app.
Earlier this week I put something out into the world about a situation that’s been bothering me for awhile – the lack of women advisors at my firm and my own lack of effort to do something about it. Within minutes of admitting this failing and raising the issue, our inbox blew up. Dozens of emails, direct messages, texts and phone calls came in. They’re still coming in. People wanting to assist, people offering encouragement, people making introductions, people bringing us solutions and strategies to address the issue.
The response was 99% positive with readers taking time out of their own day to help us. There was only one negative response, but it wasn’t really about the issue at all – just someone who needed to vent their own frustrations. That’s okay too, I guess I’m used to it.
The willingness of perfect strangers and folks from all over the country who answered the call just absolutely floored me. It is very much appreciated.
I just want to say thank you to everyone who sent a note, offered a suggestion or made a connection. It’s a really special thing to experience. I hope I can pay it back, or forward, in the times ahead.