Posts Tagged ‘Online Communities’

Serendipity

May 30, 2013

One fine day in early Spring I bought myself a bag. A lovely leather satchel, purchased from our local charity shop, I mean boutique, from whence I get most of my treasures, clothes and junk. It was one of those really lucky finds – I couldn’t believe it was in a charity shop. Big smile.

Luverley...

Luverley…

On the bus home I surveyed my booty and was intrigued by the word ‘Cybher’ embossed on its luminous yellow front. A quick snoop online led me straight to the Cyhber bloggers conference. Seeing as this was around the time that I embarked on this blog of self-discovery and new beginnings, it was clearly meant to be. So naturally I enrolled. Immediate excitement.

And now Cybher has finally rolled around. It’s this Saturday…

Cybher badge

So right now, this minute, I’d like to be writing about my growing excitement and deliberating about the outfit I’m going to wear (as many others are), but instead this is what you get from me:

Since booking my place at Cybher I’ve thrown myself around on an oh-so familiar roller coaster of destructive thoughts about going – I won’t know anyone, everyone else will be online savvy, super cool and younger/prettier/sharper/wittier than me. Should I even go?

…in a situation like this you can rely on me to imagine the worst case scenario in vivid detail – its one of my greatest creative skills you know.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Tie ourselves up in knots and focus on ALL the things that might go wrong, however UNlikely, while forgetting or choosing not to consider the things that will probably, almost certainly, definitely be great. Of course fear is a crucial emotion with a vital purpose. It prepares us for danger and prevents us from throwing ourselves into perilous situations. But this is an exciting women’s blogging conference, not a tank full of hungry sharks!

I’d like to think that by now, in my middle years, I’d have shaken off fruitless fears like this and be focussed instead on the really important things in life, like my fambily and enjoying life. Our cat has it sussed – I often look at her and wonder at her wisdom. She might have a small brain but she focusses it on all the most important things. Food, comfort and sleep, basically!

And note that my Cybher bag matches the kitchen. Natch.

And note that my Cybher bag matches the kitchen. Double delight!

I’d like to be able to say that I no longer worry about such things as Saturday, but that’s not how it is. Not yet anyway. No, unfortunately I still do worry; too much. My brain continues to work overtime on matters that it should not concern itself with.

So my current tactic is to question these automatic thoughts – the negative ones that spring up without any encouragement. I am trying to challenge their validity. Exactly when did that worst case scenario ever come true?

I’ve been helped on this occasion by social media, Twitter in particular. Who’d have thought? Well not me 6 months ago. Following @Cybher on Twitter I have learned that of course there are other first timers and that there are other nervous delegates. Sharing our fears in little bite-sized pieces has been very helpful as has tw(m)eeting beforehand and it has made me realise how mad we all are to dwell on negative thoughts.

All of this online social media lark has been such a fascinating learning curve and attending Cybher has already opened my eyes about the virtual social world, and I haven’t even got there yet! I wrote here only last week that I might not blog for much longer. I hope though that I might come away from Saturday full of ideas of how to continue writing a blog that is relevant. If not, it will be the right time to stop.

In any event I am pedalling fast towards Cybher Day now. On Saturday morning I’ll be lurking round a corner with a coffee, hiding before I go in. Either that or I’ll be running horribly late due to a last minute fashion crisis, because come the day I will still have NO idea what to wear. But either way I WILL be there. And I sincerely hope that all the other worriers are there too.

Meanwhile my phone is pinging beside me with new tweets. So while I’d normally be happy to continue analysing the inside of my head, I shall sign off now and get back to the important matter of virtual pre-meets. Hello Cybher and fellow Cybherites, one and all. I look forward to meeting you. Honest!

A tiny piece of guerilla street art

A tiny piece of guerilla street art to end with…

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