A long time ago I attended the University of Manitoba where I saw my first computer. It was 1983 and I was introduced to the Lisa (Apple’s first personal computer). It was worth $5,000 and had 1MB of ram and a floppy disk.
I would not actively use computers until the ’90s.
A History Lesson
The year was 1993 and Outlook and AOL came into being. Prices of computers started to drop and there were plenty of places non-computer owners could log on. I lived in Toronto in 1994 when I got my first email address and got my first Hotmail address in 1996. I was working in Toronto and would use the computers at Chapters to login in.
I then moved to Nova Scotia after the death of my stepfather 25 years ago and convinced my mother we needed our own. It was in Nova Scotia, I started using the computer to connect to others globally.
I met my ex-husband online before online dating was a thing. I moved to New Mexico, got married, and divorced, all within a year. That taught me a thing or two. I even had 2 newspaper articles written about my adventure into online relationships. One was a full-page article about the danger of online relationships.
A few months after my divorce was final, I came home to Canada. I bought my first computer when my daughter was 2 and started to share our lives online. Have you heard of Geocities? Xanga? or MSN spaces. I was active on all of them. I also had early WordPress and Blogspot blogs ( you can still find my Blogger-hosted blog). I knew I had a story worth sharing.
Then came the onslaught of social media and all of our lives changed.
From the early days of Facebook and Twitter to Instagram, Google +, Periscope, YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest, and more recently TikTok, Clubhouse, and now Clapper there are so many ways to connect learn share and grow your own community.
6 Lessons from 25 Years Online
This past weekend was the 25th anniversary of my stepfather’s death and as I reflected on life since his loss I also reflected on my time online and my story. The story is not over and there are still many chapters to be opened. So what have I learned so far?
- Own It
Social platforms come and go. As quickly as both Google+, MySpace, and Periscope came and took root, they went away. Have your own platform where people can always find you.
2. Be nice
Kindness always counts especially when it comes to the online world. You can always find room to be kind. Empathy and respect matter.
3. Amplify Others
For years, I was the host of the #CDNMoney chat on Twitter. Financial literacy is a passion of mine. I often said I am not the expert but I will build a community that includes experts and we could grow together. I was blessed to moderate and lead hundreds of online conversations where I could amplify others. Look for the opportunity to amplify others.
4. Watch what you share online
Sometimes, we don’t need to overshare. You never know who is watching, reading, and listening. It might be your boss, a potential boss, a brand wanting to reach out. You simply never know who your voice will resonate with.
5. Make friends
I will forever be thankful for the friends I have met online. Many have turned into my besties and these friendships make my heart full. I have made many friends by turning online relationships into in-person ones where we can hang, learn, grow and share.
6. If you share it online you never know where it will end up
I have had social media posts and blog posts end up being quoted on tv, in books, in magazines, and by celebrities. You never know what stage you may end up on./
What lessons have you learned during your time online?