By Caitlin Kelly
Social media can be social — meeting and getting to know new friends and colleagues solely through LinkedIn or Twitter or TikTok or blogs or Insta or Twitter — and/or, passively, it can offer us a peek into other worlds, wholly different from our own.
Given that we’ll have to stay physically distant from so many people for so many years — yes, years with this goddamn pandemic — virtual life and relationships are the safest and best many of us have now.
Travel? Also difficult to impossible; we recently lost $2,000 for non-refundable airfare and hotels after cancelling two much-anticipated vacations.
So, yes, I’m loving images (however enviously!) from Greece and Morocco and Kenya and Cornwall and the Hebrides…
Last week, Abby Lee Hood and I did a pitching workshop aimed at helping other freelance writers write better pitches — a pitch is a sort of a sales document for a story we might want to write. They’re not easy to do well and we got 47 people to sign up, which was fantastic. It went very well and people were still buying copies of our Zoom video days later.
I’ve yet to meet Abby, who is non-binary and has tattoos and owns a small pig, a three-legged cat, an albino hedgehog and a dog. They live in small-town Tennessee, a state I’ve never been to.
They are 27. I am…much older.
What on earth would we have in common?
As we’ve gotten to know one another, we found we both share some similar issues with our families of origin. We both have high ambitions for our work. We both hustle hard for assignments. And we also share some fundamental life values.
I’ve found them to be a deeply generous person, rare these days it seems.
So I hope our workshop, beyond its obvious goal, also modeled that sort of inter-generational friendship for a few others.
Some of the many lives I enjoy witnessing, between Twitter and Instagram, include:
Three women archeologists
A male archeologist in Berlin who works on Gobekli Tepe, a famous Neolithic Turkish site; I met him on one of the travel Twitterchats I participate in
A Canadian Arctic marine biologist
A Chilean photographer
A photographer in Queretaro, Mexico
A Canadian mother of two young boys in Australia whose nature photos are amazing
A Scottish mountain climber
A nephrologist in San Antonio, Texas who writes as Doctor T on Twitter
Several interior designers
Several artists, one a young British woman whose work is spectacular but who posts rarely
A London-based dealer in antique and rare textiles
Several European female commercial airline pilots
A mudlarker in London
A few economists
And (sigh) several Facebook groups about buying a home and living in France, a dream of mine for a long time.
Do you have favorite blogs or social media folk you really enjoy?