Since I love alliteration almost as much as I love myself, I decided to do a monthlong weekly series where I will give you a chance to get to know me better. I’ll also be doing one of those 30 day challenges over on my Stuck in the Middle Tumblr if once a week of me writing about myself just isn’t enough for you.
There are so many ways to tell the story of who you are. In City Year, I’ve had the opportunity to do it in several different ways. One of the ways we build trust and community with one another is to share the story of our life. I recently made my Life Map during Advanced Training Academy.I have done it before; generally it is a written/drawn representation of what led you to where you currently are in life. The first time I did it, I drew the typical life path. Birth, childhood, college, etc.
This time I decided to describe my life’s path through the social media networks I have been apart of. Nerdy, I know, but trust me on this.
Live Journal was the first social media network that I ever signed up for. I was about 14 years old, and it was the first time I ever started blogging. It’s so weird to think that this was 10 years ago now.
Back then, blogging was more of a public diary than anything else. It was an outlet for my friends and I to talk about our joys, our mundane days, but mostly our passive aggressive teen angst. Sooo much drama came out of Live Journal posts but it was a cool time. I wish that as many of my friends now blogged as they did then.
And then came Myspace. I got this when I was around 16. I mainly used it to check out bands I was into, post photos of different things I was doing and stalk my less than loyal high school boyfriend.
At this point in my life, I was still pretty self centered in the sense that to me, social media was my chance to kind of “star” in my own show.
It was also marked a really dark time for me. I was really untrusting of my boyfriend (not like he deserved any sort of trust) so social media wasn’t really a positive experience for me at that time.
I signed up for Facebook a little while before I went to St. John Fisher College. That was back when you actually needed a valid college e-mail address to sign up.
Getting Facebook was a growing experience for me. It made me start thinking about presenting myself online in a more professional way. While I may not have done that at first (and still haven’t quite gotten there) it was the first time I realized that my profiles and pages aren’t just for me and my close friends. Anyone can really see them and I need to be aware of what messages I’m sending.
This is when I started using my social media presence for a purpose besides sharing what I was doing that weekend. This coincided with my decision to dedicate a year of my life to service with City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley.
I have been tweeting for @CityYearSanJose for over a year and now it is something I hope to do professionally for other non-profits. We shall see!
I started using Tumblr. when I moved out to San Jose for City Year. It started out as my outlet to share my service, but has more recently turned into the place where I share things I design, quotations that inspire me or videos I have created.
It’s a great place for me to check out photography, typography and funny charts.
When I got LinkedIn was when I realized that my social media outlets weren’t individual things used for individual purposes. They were all parts of my whole personal brand.
This was the time when I embraced integrating my passion for service, love of design and my writing/communications skills and saw that there was some market value in there. It is what has led me to want to study communications management in graduate school rather than non-profit administration.
Finally, WordPress. I had been blogging using WordPress for City Year and City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley, but didn’t get my own personal WordPress for awhile.
Recently I decided to purchase my own domain name (if you didn’t know already, this is where you are RIGHT NOW), bakersitm.com. This was me literally investing in what I am doing, and for someone who doesn’t make much money, this was a big step even if it is only $25 a month.
What started out as a fun hobby for me has turned into what I want to do with the rest of my life. Social media is exciting, powerful and most importantly, fun. I’m excited to see where it (and I) will go with it in the coming years.