Making Friends

My desk fish
Here I am, sitting all alone in my home office. It’s just me and the fish. I used to feel pretty isolated working alone. No longer. I have so many friends and colleagues right at my fingertips.

Sure, I have my email running all day long. But that doesn’t feel as immediate as it used to. And I have to confess, IM is just a bit TOO immediate and distracting for this over 50 brain. What I do rely on are my facebook friends and flickr friends and twitter friends….. If I need a jolt of company, advice on something or just a moment of silliness, someone is usually out there. Kind of like a trip to the coffee break room when I used to work in a real library.

Tonight I posted a note to Facebook saying I was looking for a new camera. Within an hour I had messages from several facebook friends offering useful advice. One friend even sent some advice via a short video, very cool and very immediate. Advice was offered by flickr friends as well.

Thanks to all this great advice and a bit of research (librarians always offer links to reviews don’t they?), I have a good idea of what camera I’ll be buying. And best of all, I don’t feel quite so alone sitting here in my office.

Are social networking tools distracting and a waste of time? Sure, they can be at times. But are they also wonderfully useful and engaging? You bet! I have far more expertise at my fingertips than I’ve ever had before, all thanks to social networking tools. I look forward to meeting some of these colleagues in person some day. Most of these are people I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have made contact with in any traditional way. Till then, it’s time to quit work now and go lose a game scrabulous.

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