Being part of the #MySmarterCommerce campaign with IBM, I’ve been thinking more and more lately about all the ways the internet, technology, and probably more specifically, social media, has changed my life. Sure, everyone’s life has changed with the invention of new technologies. If we don’t know something, we just “Google it”, we use our smartphones for everything and connectivity is always at our fingertips. But for me, the coolest thing about social media is the random connections I’ve been able to make and the advancements for myself and my career. Here’s my top five favorite things technology has done for me (so far!).
1) Saved my LDR (that’s long distance relationship for those not in the know). Living in NYC while my sig other was in Buffalo for nearly two years wasn’t easy. But thanks to Skype, Facebook, email, texting and even Seamless Web, we were able to connect in more ways than ever possible. In the olden days, LDR’s didn’t stand a chance, with the lack of cell phones, painfully slow process of letter writing and non-existent internet even couples parting ways for the summer pretty much had a “see you in September” mentality. Modern day LDR’s stand a lot better chance. Don’t believe me? Just watch Going The Distance.
2) Got me on CNN! About a year ago I was up late one night perusing Twitter when I received a tweet from a CNN producer asking if she could DM me. Unsure whether it was spam I quickly checked her out and she seemed legit. After a brief direct message exchange on Twitter and a few emails, I was confirmed as a guest the next morning on CNN as a social media expert. I credit this to a winning combo of my Twitter presence and my personal blog presence. I later found out that one of the writers was a big fan of The Allie Zog Blog, which surely helped my cause! 🙂
3) Got me most of jobs to date. When I first finished college, I distinctly remember spending several days stuffing envelopes to mail out to job prospects. Yes I literally stuffed envelopes, sending my resume, best clips from the college newspaper and a lengthy cover letter to every magazine, newspaper and random publication I could think of. I think I heard back from like 2. Do journalism majors still do this? I HOPE not! That was the first and last time I ever MAILED anything to apply for a job. The last few jobs I’ve had have been obtained by a combination of personal introduction, Twitter connections, online job boards and again, this blog. To this I say, good riddance envelope stuffing!
4) Connected (and reconnected) me with friends old and new. As cliché as it sounds, I still love social media for the simple fact that it’s allowed me to stay connected to people from my past, often re-connecting me to them after years of silence. If you’re like me and left your hometown at 18 with not many returns, you may not have been the best at keeping each touch with high school pals. I doubt I even had any of their phone numbers or even email addresses after college ended but thanks to social media I’m able to find out where they are and what they’re doing and in most cases we’ve been able to “catch up” without actually having to see each other or even speak on the phone. In addition to re-connecting with old friends, I’ve had a lot easier time staying connected to new people I’ve met along the way. In the past, if you met someone casually at an event or even through a friend, you probably wouldn’t stay in touch, but these days, after I meet someone new, I usually find a friend request or new follower in them a few days later.
5) Given me important information such as “where should I eat tonight” “how can I get Lumineers tickets” and “where can I buy a hot yoga towel.” You know – the burning questions that before Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc were just so much harder to answer!
These are just a sampling of the many ways in which I use one part iPhone, one part Twitter and two parts my imagination to make my life easier everyday. I’d love to know what technology and social media has done for your life. Share with me in the comments or on Twitter using #MySmarterCommerce.
#spon: I have been invited by IBM to share my honest thoughts and experiences around Smarter Commerce, and as part of this collaboration, IBM may provide me with product, access, content or other forms of remuneration. All opinions are expressly my own.