Post #300: Reflections on the Blog + the ‘Realness’ of Online Interactions
This is post number 300, since I started blogging under my own name, and moved the blog to my own URL about 26 months ago.
Early Beginnings + How Things Change
I first started blogging almost 4 years ago, and it has been a journey in becoming more truly myself. At the time I still identified as Muslim (albeit a feminist, Qu’ran only Muslim), I was just about to officially be diagnosed with Endometriosis, and I was still in an emotionally abusive relationship.
Things have changed a lot since then. I have started to find out how to better manage my Endometriosis, the importance of vulnerability, learnt that I’m an Atheist, I graduated, moved to Ireland from Denmark where I have for the past, almost 2 years been working at Oracle.
Which leads me to some news; come August I will be starting work with Dropbox covering Dropbox for Business in all of the Nordics, which I am very excited about. I don’t talk much about my work here on the blog, and I don’t expect that will change in the future. Suffice it to say that I have been very grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to work at Oracle, I have had amazing teams, managers, training and have learnt a lot.
Social Media + Virtual Friendships
Social Media and online interactions has fascinated me for years – probably helped that my dad was a programmer and loved debating people online (this was back in the 90’s and early 2000’s). I started late 90’s / early 2000’s and over the years I have made a lot of friends online. Some of them I still know and speak to regularly, others I’ve lost touch with along the way. Some I’ve ended up meeting in person, many I’ve only ever known through our online interactions. Some I have dated, others have become house mates or best friends even across great distances.
All of these people have made an impression for me, some small, some big, but they’ve all helped me learn, grow and develop as a person. I am so grateful to live at a time where such interactions and virtual friendships are possible. I think it is incredibly important for us to get to know people outside our own little view of the world, to see other ways of doing things, new ways of thinking. To understand someone else’s perspective. Doesn’t mean we have to do it their way, but I think it is important to have the ability to see that there are more than one way of doing things, and the way we’ve always done it might not be the right way for us. Reading blogs and interacting with people online has probably been the biggest catalyst for growth in my life, spurring me to reconsider and try new things.
Through my use of Social Media at work, I became friends with Christopher Demers aka ChristopherinHR, first through Twitter and even more so as I began reading his always inspiring and thought-provoking blogposts. I reached out to Christopher to let him know that I’d be leaving Oracle to work for Dropbox, which means I’ll know longer be discussing HR in my professional social media, as I have until now, but hoping we could still stay in touch. While I expected him to tell me that of course we’d still be in touch, I was blown away by the blogpost he wrote, in response to my message.
To me, this post really exemplifies the realness of our online interactions and virtual friendships. We do have the power to touch other people’s lives through our blogs, tweets, status updates and comments – for better or worse. To quote Christopher:
People in your virtual world are as real as you let them be. Revel in that expanded network, that enlarged space. Enjoy the worldwide reach of shared ideals and ideas. Immerse in and drink from the well of talent and care so willingly given.
Thank you Christopher, and also thank you to all the hundreds of people that have enriched my life in one way or another through our online interactions.