I’m sort of “known” for my hugs. My mum says: “A hug from Liv stays with you forever.” She also says, “Take it easy, Liv, it’s not the Heimlich maneuver.” So, I guess that gives you an idea of how hard I hug. It’s like I want to remember the feeling of the person I am hugging forever, so I make a memory inside my brain while I am holding onto them.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how you “meet” people on social media. Just this week, I had someone I met in October at Twitter message me that we were connected through #MyTaiwanTeacher, Pana. Emily was in Taipei a few years ago doing work for SeeSaw and met Pana. The crazy thing is when I met Emily in October, I didn’t know she knew Pana. It wasn’t until I tweeted out about my Pana project that Emily realized the connection.
Last week, I was having lunch with my Gram near her home in Wolfeboro, NH. While I was eating a woman approached our table and asked if I was Olivia. It was someone who had followed me on Instagram since last year, and she learned of my work from my mum who worked as a consultant in her school. Mrs. Bradley was so taken with my work, and my love of sharks, she sent home a book, The Shark Lady with my mum. It was the first book I ever read about Eugenie Clark’s life, and I was hooked.
This weekend, I was thinking about #MyColoradoTeacher, Cris Tovani, so I messaged her. She said she had JUST been thinking of me, and then my message came through. It’s almost like we knew we needed each other’s words.
Yesterday, I was lucky enough to go to a book event with my mum for Heather Lang’s book, Swimming with Sharks. It’s probably not surprising to think about how important my connection is to Heather; she loves sharks as much as do, and she wrote a book about my shark hero, Eugenie Clark. While I was there, I got to see Christie Wyman, a teacher who has believed in me for a long time on Twitter.
Why am I sharing all of these silly pieces of my life? It’s because all of these connections are because of social media, every, single one. It’s like pieces of my heart are all over Instagram, Twitter, my blog, and in the last few weeks, I’ve been able to actually GIVE pieces of my heart to people in REAL life. I’ve been able to HUG them!
It shows the power of social media connections. It’s proof that social media makes the world smaller and it gives you the chance to connect people and ideas, you never thought possible. It shows that there is SO MUCH love out there in the social media-sphere, and if you’re open to it, you can catch it!
A while back, I was sending a friend something I called #HeartTags. Every morning, I would text her words that I thought her heart needed to read. Although it was meant for her, it made my heart feel good, too. I did this for many, many days, until I felt like I had filled up her love tank. Sometimes, I look back at those #HeartTags because they fill up MY love tank.
Your connections to other people are important. You can become part of someone’s #HeartFamily. Heart families are people that your heart choses to help, hold, lift, and love you. Having a heart family means that you are never alone. I’m lucky because my heart family grew bigger when I joined social media.
Maybe some people are on social media to lurk, troll, or even hate. But, not me! I’m here to #SpreadKindness and #CelebrateOthers. I’m here to make my #HeartFamily bigger! I think there is enough hard in the world. In the last 6 months, I learned hard and I learned love. Sending #HeartTags helps get rid of the hard and helps lift someone else.
I hope reading this blog makes you read your social media posts a little more closely, and I hope you spot a member of your #HeartFamily. When you do, tell them! Who knows? You might get a chance to #HugThemHard in the near future!
Keep reading, keep thinking, and, thank you for following LivBits.