How Social Media Changed My Life

My first foray onto the Internet began in 1996 when my primary occupation was as a medical transcriptionist.  I ran into a wonderful cyber community.  I found great friendship that supported me through some major life challenges and self-discovery.

Fast forward to a couple of years ago.  I was at a wedding reception of someone I’ve known since he was 8.  I was visiting with one of his brothers, and he asked if I was on Facebook.  I hadn’t had a lot of contact with this extended family for many years, so I decided it was time to bite the bullet and do this Facebook thing.  Facebook proved to be quite an amazing thing!  I got connected to people I haven’t spoken with in almost 2 decades.

I resisted Twitter for about a year.  I had Facebook.  What use was Twitter?  Finally I couldn’t resist and signed up.  That’s when my life took a major turn.  I’ve been practicing my motto of living without regrets for the last 5 years, and I’ve had this dream that you already know about for a LONG time, but for whatever reason I never seriously thought about pursuing it.  That is until I “ran into” the Vogels (@FamilyOnBikes,  I thought they were amazing, but figured I could never do that.  Then the Universe  threw some more synchronicity my way.  Every year I try to make a big trip.  I had planned on returning to France and making a couple of side trips, but I remembered I had always wanted to go to Machu Picchu.  No better time than the present, right?  So I went.  Guess who just happened to be in Cusco the same time I was going to be there.  Yep.  The Vogels.  After spending a couple of days visiting with them and their boys, and seeing how well-adjusted they were, I started to think just maybe, MAYBE, I could do this.  But it was still a dream.

While in Peru I decided my next trip would be with my son.  I had decided on Africa, and when I asked Tigger where he’d like to go, he said Africa, so we had a plan.  A few days later we found ourselves at the post office getting his passport.  In the meantime I became “friends” with another family through Twitter:  @GotPassport.  They were from Texas, sold their stuff, and moved to Thailand.  I had always felt drawn to Thailand but what would I do about Tigger?  Could he handle it?  How would moving around to different countries affect him?  The more I read about their move, how they were settling in. . . well, it really got me pondering more seriously.  I chatted with Nancy Vogel again, and she confirmed my suspicions:  Not only could Tigger probably handle it, he would probably thrive.

The plan started taking shape in my mind, and the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like a real possibility.  Oh, I tried making all my logical arguments against it, but my heart knew it was right.  The more I considered it, the less insane it seemed.  Thanks to Twitter I’m getting more and more connected in Chiang Mai, which makes me feel even more comfortable.  Tigger is excited as well, as you can imagine.

While social media has its issues, it also has great benefits.  And it just might be life-altering.

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  1. I was in college when Facebook launched and we were one of the first campuses on the system. So for years I viewed social media as a thing for college kids to connect.

    But as the years went by and now most of my professional connections start on Twitter, Facebook, or my blog, I don’t know what I’d be doing without social media. While that’s kind of a scary thought on how dependent I am on online relationships. It makes up for it as when I meet these folks in real life, we are like old friends!

    This is a wonderful post! Thank you!


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    • It is so very cool to meet people in real life that you’ve been communicating with only online. And most of them have turned out to be very important relationships to me, which is also very cool. Social media has truly made an already small world even smaller.

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  2. My first contact with my now husband was on facebook and I also met a REALLY cool Colorado family who is getting ready to hit the road the same time we are…… can’t wait to pick his brain over coffee 🙂 You two rock!

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    • How cool you guys met on Facebook! Will be interested to hear more about that!

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  3. I found my girlfriend because of social media and blogging. She’s a blogger as well. Our first conversations were commenting each others blog and tweeting. It changed my life in a big way.

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  4. You have touched some many lives by your writing and your friendship. You certainly have enriched mine. I am so happy for both you. How exciting. The second best part is that we will get to touch upon your adventures through your wonderful blog. I cannot wait to read all about the adventures. Your son is truly the luckiest boy ever.

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  5. Awesome….just awesome! Talon you're a fantastic man and I'm so blessed to know you. I could go on and on, but let's just say, your capacity for love and caring far surpasses most people and the little guy is the luckiest little boy ever! I will be watching, reading, and no doubt telling Jeff all about the great things you are doing.


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  6. This is great… now I`ve got two family projects that I can follow before being able to do the same.
    Thanks for inspiring and teach me what will be like when I take my family (wife and daughter) on our bicycle journey.

    Have fun!

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  7. Oh, Nancy, more than a "small part." You and the boys' impact on me & Tigger has been HUGE!

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  8. YIPPEE!!!!! I am so thrilled to have played even a small part in your adventure! I know it'll be a magical experience for both of you. The next few months as you prepare will be a wild ride – both physically and mentally – but you'll get there!


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  9. I'll definitely be following your adventures as we are planning a similar thing. We'll be heading out to Indonesia in 2011 for a 1 year sabbatical. The planning piece is what is overwhelming for us right now. What an incredible experience this will be for you and your boy.

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  10. I look forward to some authentic Pad Thai…

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