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Social Media: My Anti-Social Antidote.

Believe it or not, I have always been somewhat anti-social.

Arches NP, Jan 2014. Self-portrait taken with a +GoPro

What?

Yes.

In high school, I didn’t mold into just one niche-group.

I was involved in theatre, chess club, geology club, & softball, but wasn’t 100% dedicated to any of them. I enjoyed having many different activities to partake in, and enjoyed having many groups of friends…to halfway be involved with. I bounced around many different groups of friends and lunch tables.

Exhibit A: Tiffiny in high school. (note: the long, Avril-inspired hair; the rainbow belt, the “vintage” Paramount tee, multi-colored stacked bracelets, & although you can’t see, I wore black chucks everyday. I still have them).

Sophomore year, I think? Math class? I’m sure Tori Lesikar could tell you!

Livejournal, DiaryLand & Xanga came  into my life in Jr. High, I think. I would sneak onto these sites during computer class (bypassing the firewall, which did not allow anything but .edu or .gov websites), and not only write my own, now-hilarious, woeful entries, but also enjoyed reading what others had to say.

Finally! People like ME! 

Anti-social in-person, but online, we poured our hearts out.

We were writers and we were dark. Elizabeth Wurtzel, dark.

But, wait; I think in 2003 it was called, “being emo.”

Fast-forward to 2013.

I have stopped drinking and lost many friends because of it – not on purpose, but now we have little in common. People socialize because they have something in common.

I found myself exploring trails and seeing more sunrises & sunsets in 2013 than I had my entire life. I felt alive, free, and home in my own body and mind.

In September, I applied for an internship with Outdoor Women’s Alliance. Gina Bégin & I emailed back and forth – and then I was offered the Social Media & Content Creator position!

Little did I know, that my colleges at +Outdoor Women’s AllianceGinaLaurie, and Kim would be my closest group of girl friends to communicate with for the rest of 2013. These ladies are incredible, and I got to meet Gina and Laurie this year at OR Show in Salt Lake City!

Laurie, Gina & I eating S’mores @ Winter #ORShow!

I am so thankful for my internship with OWA. It has opened up so many doors for me and I have met so many people online that I know I will meet in real life.

I got the chance to meet a wonderful handful in Salt Lake City when I went snowshoeing with the  +TETON Sports #hikerchat crew! Snowshoes were provided by +Tubbs Snowshoes, water flasks by Hydroflask, food by Good 2 Go, base layers by +Terramar Sports and we got to test a sweet pack from Teton SportsYonder was also out there representing, and now I am an ambassador for them. (Get ready for some chatter around that subject!)

I would not have been able to go on this incredible adventure if it weren’t for social media.

Brooke Gaynes, a fellow OWA lady & I on the top of a hill.

(I’m aware my pack looks ridiculous in this picture).

#hikerchat on the top of a hill during our snowshoe hike!
Snowy selfie. 🙂

To me, social media is not just about getting on Facebook and wasting time. It is not about getting on Instagram and posting pictures of food.

I think the general public misuses and misunderstand social media. They use it as a platform to complain, because they do not actually have to be face-to-face with people.

I enjoy using it so that I can be face-to-face with the people I meet, one day. I have met so many people on Instagram that I cannot wait to go hiking or skiing with in the future.

Social media has pulled me out of many of my anti-social habits, and I am grateful for that. I do not feel as tired when I hang out with people, because I am genuinely interested in them. I am not alway trying to get home so I can isolate myself.

Being open to meeting people online has opened me up to meeting more people who are already around me. I love getting dinner with a friend, or sitting at a coffee shop for hours just talking.

THIS is an incredible Hemp Latte, from Avoca Coffee in Fort Worth, TX.

I know there are people out there who argue that social media creates anti-social behavior, but I really think it has to do with your intention. Are there people who do not confront anyone except in text message or blasting them on Facebook? Yes. I also think that makes them immature and they are not being true to themselves.

Do we, as a society, have our heads buried in our phones more often? Yes. However, this presents us with the opportunity to balance. One thing I loved about my road trip last month was the fact that I did not have service and forgot about checking Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and when I got service again, I did not really care. I had amazing experiences to reminisce about.

So, like anything, using social media is a balance. Overuse it, and you can become addicted to getting the little red notifications on the computer screen, or use it with balance and purpose, and you can meet some incredible people, go on amazing adventures, and find that life is incredible and social media is a window that allows us to see more.

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