It’s not all fake – when social Media brings Friends to real Life! – 16 Dec 15

Friends

My last two blog entries may have sounded like I don't like social media at all. Well, that's not quite true. It has brought a lot of positive change to the world and as a modern person I appreciate its benefits. There is however something that I notably prefer: real life.

I love technical progress. I have already early been fascinated with new gadgets – for example cameras. I was among the first in our town to have a digital camera, when we got a phone, a lot of neighbors came to us to receive or make phone calls, the first mobile I got was like a huge brick, because it was one of the first and that's how they were in that time! I believe that technical inventions can help us immensely. I have been using the internet a long time and of course also started with social media networks one day.

I have to say that it is today a way of communicating with people that is incomparable to any other previous method! A lot of people whom I know in real life have connected with me there and I can write to all of them at the same time. Simultaneously however, there are even more people – people whom I don't know at all and who have never met me – reading my words, maybe liking them and getting interest in knowing more.

I can connect with so many people at the same time and everyone can choose whether he would like to read more or not! They can make their settings in a way that they either see my words whenever I write them or not at all! I believe it is a wonderful possibility for people to choose what they want to do.

This far for getting in touch. After that, however, I believe there should be one step more. Bringing it to real life. If you have the feeling of being connected to someone online, it can be a very one-sided feeling! You read the words of the other one all the time. You see pictures and you may even ‘like’ them on Facebook. The other one however may not even notice that you are so close in this way. For that, you need to send a direct message, email, make a phone call or pay a visit.

And here we go: I have made a lot of friends online who have come to visit me here. Indians who like a different approach and way of thinking have come for a day visit or over the weekend. People from all over the world have joined us for Yoga and Ayurveda retreats from a few days to several weeks and even months.

This is when I know that social media is actually good for real life: when someone tells me that they read about me online, then went to read the blog and found help for his or her life. When someone found me online, then went to our charity pages and started sponsoring a child. When someone read my posts online and travelled across India to talk to me in person. When someone sees photos of our retreats and decides to join us here for a yoga holiday.

I believe in a real connection and social media is only a tool, an instrument to reach there. I believe in keeping it real – offline and online as well.

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