I came to New Haven, Connecticut today to visit my good friend Scott Katin, who I’ve known since like 3 year old nursery school, traveled across country with in 2003, and have been in touch regularly via AOL IM while I’m overseas. We hiked up West Rock Mountain, which is right next to his new house here, and chit chatted. Common topic I have is internet , technology, and social media, and how my VIRTUAL friends influence my mood.
I remember my dad telling me when I was young, you are who you hang out with. If you are friends with people who are breaking rules and lazy, it will influence you to be like them. And even if you don’t “Act” like them, t will also make others think you are doing similar things they are doing. Sure, you/we/I can say it doesn’t matter what others think of you/us/I, but actually, in business and life it kinda does.
But while it seemed to be pushed on me negatively when I was little, that if I hang out with bad kids, I will be a bad kid, and forbid / discouraged by my parents to befriend bad kids in school – it also works the other way! If you work actively to surround yourself with POSITIVE people, and positive minds, then it will “rub off” on you as well. It will exponentially increase your chances of growing up positive. These people around you will support you, and prop you up when you get down. And you will do the same for them when times get down.
Putting this in today’s modern world – with the internet and social media, facebook, twitter, linkedin – if notice probably on our “streams” (daily updates from friends / followings) we see messages / thoughts / actions these people are doing. THIS IS INFLUENCING OUR MOODS AND OUR MINDS.
I think twitter is awesome, why? Because I can get information quickly, short messages, and normally my twitter lists (I break the followings into groups) have positive, happy messages. Sure, this is corny to some, and to me it sounds a bit silly, but it is positive energy throughout my day. I check my mobile phone, see status updates of positive thoughts, motivational quotes, and new perspectives, and its like my daily coffee – it keeps me going throughout my crazy day and insane lifestyle.
But there are those negative messages. I have to say, its more on facebook then on my twitter. Maybe I just have some more “special” facebook friends, getting messages about politics, negative news, and “I’m having a bad day”……this kinda knocks me down a bit. But on the other hand, normally I can crack a joke back to some of these negative messages, hopefully changing their perspective and those readers of it.
The other side of it though is, why should I follow someone who has such negative vibes? The rule in life is normally you cannot change people (we naturally want to help CHANGE someone) but they have to be the ones who want to change themselves.
I just think social media and the internet is so amazing...and now with my friends, followings, and linkedin connections, these people are with me all day, everywhere, supporting me and motiviating me, and I am doing the same back.
I truly believe this is helping society and growing / expanding people’s minds and horizons. I am never alone anymore, I have my “Virtual friends”, and will keep on traveling.