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The Grace of Communication

This guest post is by Lisa Johnson of LisaJohnsonFitness.com.

Social media has changed my life in a fundamental way that I never saw coming. My first innocent forays onto Twitter had not prepared me for the ride I was about to go on.

Through social media I have started a new career, grown more close to my husband, been able to spend more time with my son, and still managed to help provide for my family.

But those are the perks to what I do. They are not why I do it … there is grace in communication.

As a Pilates Instructor I live for those moments that seem to descend out of nowhere. I’ll be teaching a class and we’ll all just click, every movement has flow, my voice allows my students to focus more deeply, and we dance in a way, their bodies and my voice weaving together intricate patterns. The sweat builds, hard bones and sinew become fluid, and an awesome, amazing thing happens: my class and I find grace. It’s powerful to all of us.

It brings me to tears and embarrassed giggles. My students know what I mean, and then hurry out into their busy lives. It’s why I’ve taught Pilates for longer than I’ve ever done anything in my life—fifteen years now—to hit those random moments of grace, of being able to give my clients a small taste of empowerment.

Social media is often maligned by the uninitiated as a place of misfits and people who can’t have “real relationships” in their “real lives.” I suppose for some that’s true, but that hasn’t been my journey at all. I have found it a place of true connection.

Keyboards click, screens flicker and millions of people pour a torrent of words into the stream. Most of it washes over us in ones and zeros, never recognized into existence.

But then a stray comment will catch an eye, a conversation will start—maybe it’ll be a cascade of back and forths, or maybe it’ll be a few comments here and there over time. But there is a connection.

I have my people on social media that I depend on for a joke, a pick-me-up, or a kind word. Sometimes I don’t even know their real names, just a Twitter handle and a sentence or two of biography. I try to give back in the same way with an atta boy/atta girl or a warm phrase when needed.

I have experienced everything through social media: humor, fear, failure, redemption, even death, have all come at me through the screen. I have made real true friends and been humbled when I was able to help someone. Many of these connections have spilled into “my real life”—and these are people I would never meet any other way.

There is grace in that. Our disconnected lives, blown apart from generational family ties, have found a new way to connect, to find a tribe, to belong.

Social media has evolved into a business. The software companies are our conduits, advertising the currency, and brands online jumping up and down for attention, looking to win eyeballs and wallets. But it is still all driven by humans, sorting ourselves by hashtags and groups, by geography and hobby. So we find our people and connect.

How brilliant is that? How truly, truly brilliant?

It’s magical that we tap keyboards and stare at screens and find humans tapping back at us. Have you reached out and found a connection waiting for you? Have you been changed, even in a tiny way, by your social media life? How do you tap your connections?

Lisa Johnson went from Pilates studio owner to one of the top fitness people on social media with her popular blog, LisaJohnsonFitness.com. She balances teaching at the studio with working with social media clients through Healthy Dose Media, a company she founded with her husband, Greg Wymer. She is frequently found on Twitter @LisaJohnson.

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Comments

  1. Aziza says:

    I have lots of real life friends & aquaintences on social media from all parts of my life, past & present. I think we’ve all had to learn not to use social media purely for self promotion (whether for business or to broadcast our general success & self-serving awesomeness). Now social media helps me to stay connected, reach out to, encourage & be encouraged by these & altogether new people.

  2. We are so blessed with social media Lisa, few realize how easy it has become to connect with people all over the world. I’ve been able to travel Southeast Asia for the past year while running online business. Social media has played a massive part in my biz growth. So simple, and powerful. SM simply provides us with another way to make meaningful connections with people from….everywhere. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Joe Boyle says:

    Beautiful post here, Lisa. It reminds me of a quote by Stephen Hawking – “For millions of years, mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happened that unleashed the power of our imagination – we learned to talk and listen…” He later, in the quote, says, “…It doesn’t have to be like this, all we have to do is make sure we keep talking.” It is, if you were to read the full quote, essentially stabbing at the idea that all of the world’s problems can be fixed if we just communicate.

    I think the social media tools that are integrated into our daily lives are simply brilliant. In ways that were never possible before, we can find out what the owner of a local shop on the opposite side of the world is doing, and interact with them.We can know all of the world’s current events in the blink of an eye.

    World revolutions are happening and revolve around social media. In the United States, presidential candidates are using social media to drive stronger campaigns then ever before possible. It’s true magic.

  4. Dragan Palla says:

    Hi Lisa,

    Yes there is some grace in social media and I must say very interesting approach to that subject.
    Admitted or not social networks has changed the way we communicate. It’s incredible that in a matter of seconds your word can be spread with millions of people. How grace is that?
    Again, interesting approach to social media subject.

  5. Abdul says:

    Hi Lisa,

    I believe that while many tend to overlook the transition that social media has enforced upon our social lives, it is important to note that the change has been immensely beneficial. Facebook, Twitter, Stumbleupon and many others of the like have changed the ways we connect with people, and they have also changed the people that we connect with. Bridging the gap between like-minded people is the manifesto of social networks, and I think we can vouch for the evidence to that.

    Great guest post, I’m sure it will trigger many minds to evaluate the importance of social networks into their lives.

  6. Monisima says:

    Very nicely written. I love how you enjoy the community and focus more on that than on the success of your business through social media. Too often we enter social media for business purposes, but fail to realize that the connections we make is what gives it all heart and meaning.

  7. Adam says:

    One of my all-time favorite posts ;) So eloquent and truthful! Thank you!!!

  8. saad naeem says:

    i wish i could write a guest post for your blog :( , great way to increase the targeted visitors and fans. a reply would be great.

  9. Heather says:

    I found this post to be very moving. Thank you for reminding me of those moments of grace that slide into our lives and make it all worthwhile. I’m new to Twitter and blogging but I hope to find what you have in time. Thank you for your post!

  10. So true sometimes people ( we) can forget that behind those tweets, FB posts, etc; are REAL people.

    I remember a comedian followed me on Twitter his name was the same ( last name) as one of my favorite comedians…I asked and turned out it was his brother :) I thought that was very cool and was able to tell him I liked both their comedy routines. So Yes . I find real people all the time in my social media experiences.
    Like your post and great name BTW LOL ;)

  11. There is a lot of truth in this post that I rarely consider. Over the course of my past six months on Twitter and blogging, I’ve made countless connections in other states and even other countries. I’ve made valuable connections and maybe even lifelong friends. Great post!

  12. Liz says:

    Lisa- This was such a unique way to explain social media. Some people don’t see the importance of social media. We can communicate, express ourselves and connect with so many different people. It really is amazing how easily we can sort ourselves into groups to easily find one another. Great post!

  13. I feel like we are on the tip of an iceberg with technology and what will happen to social media. Like project glass where google is making real world uses for augmented HUD displays. Just imagine how being social on the web would be with those!

  14. Lisa Johnson says:

    Thank you all for your comments … I’ve loved reading through them, especially the Stephen Hawking quote. Hope everyone is having a great weekend. L–

  15. Like everything else, Social media do has both positive and negative sides. How we take it and use it is the key here. Thanks for the nice post.

  16. I found the juxtaposition of grace and social media interesting. Now that I think about it, there IS grace in social media. Thanks for that unusual take on the subject today, of all days. Grace.

  17. Henry says:

    Very nice tips.

  18. Marlon says:

    A very impressive insight Lisa! Thanks for sharing this with us. :)

  19. Aditi Datta says:

    Communication has really changed our life and brings the world right at our hands. Great concept Lisa and thanks for sharing!!

  20. Glenn Verdult says:

    Hello i am Glenn Verdult

    I enjoy reading your articles

    I am looking forward to read more..

  21. I’m new to social media as I create a new business as career and leadership coach and entrepreneur. I can already see the number of avenues that social media can be bring to a person and can relate to the words Lisa speaks of. Just this past week, I have recently connected to new coaches internationally. If wasn’t for a few clicks on Linked In, I would have never had the opportunity to talk with them, hear their creative ideas for the coaching business world and build a new relationship.

  22. Very nice and impressive insight, thanks

  23. Dion Lynk says:

    Social media is the new ‘EXTRA, EXTRA, read all about it’ kid. I choose not to use facebook anymore for advertising business as twitter is highly more effective in my estimation. The short pithy quips bode far more useful in today’s face paced society. Great read!

  24. I have lots of real life friends & aquaintences on social media from all parts of my life, past & present. I think we’ve all had to learn not to use social media purely for self promotion (whether for business or to broadcast our general success & self-serving awesomeness). Now social media helps me to stay connected, reach out to, encourage & be encouraged by these & altogether new people.