Social Media lets us reach more people faster and with less effort, it makes it easier for us to communicate and it lets more people find us! But what about sharing? According to the dictionary sharing means to use, participate in, enjoy, receive, etc., JOINTLY!
Social Media lets us share small details of our lives with anyone and everyone; from family pictures celebrating holidays to recipes of our favorite foods. By using social media to share more of ourselves and our culture we learn from each other and we are building more diverse and tolerant communities.
I have always been interested in other cultures. When I lived in Guatemala I loved cooking Thai dishes going to Indian restaurants and buying books about Italian architecture or African art and sometimes just finding these would be difficult. Now I can spend just minutes on Pintrest and feel like I have traveled around the world. If I crave something different for dinner I will go on twitter and look for an interesting recipe shared by people I follow and have gotten to know even if I have never met them.
Now that I live in the United States people find my culture interesting and exciting and I love how easily I can share it by using social media so that anyone who is interested in learning about my country’s traditions and culture can with just a mouse click.
One of the most amazing things about social media is that through sharing my culture I have learned more about it and about myself than I ever did while I was living in Guatemala. Now I take an active interest in my country’s traditions and culture. As I am posting and twitting about them, instead of just passively participating in them, I investigate and dig deeper. I have learned more than I would have ever imagined about my roots, my heritage and my identity.
Through social media I have joined a community of Latinas that understand and share my love for my language (Spanish), for colorful food, spicy music and big family gatherings. Through social media I have found a place where I can not only share part of who I am, but a community where I feel at home away from home.
This post was written as an entry for the Ella Media SheStreams 2012 conference pass giveaway.