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The uplifting power of connections

Especially in today’s cold feeling social media world where everyone hides behind a screen, making good old fashioned personal connections is STILL where the good stuff resides.

Over the past 8 months or so I went from absolutely detesting social media to finally starting to understand the power it holds. It’s absolutely a threat to suck us all into the trap of chasing numbers, battling algorithms, and all that comes with that. At its core though it really holds a simple power that ALL of us can use if/whenever we choose.

As I write this I’m watching a great conversation unfold between a couple of different friends on Twitter. It’s one of those moments where I’m claiming a small victory, yet one very much worth celebrating. These two friends had not previously known each other. They found themselves in conversation because I retweeted a post that another friend then responded to.

That’s it.

A simple interaction.

Friend A’s work resonated with Friend B that saw it. Friend B chose to interact with it and suddenly a real, personal connection was happening. It happens all the time, but we rarely notice it and certainly rarely(if ever) celebrate it when it happens. But I think we should.

In reality it’s easy for me to say that I had nothing to do with them interacting. Even easier to go about my day, not noticing this connection, and keep feeling like we’re just shouting into a black hole and not making a difference. Many of us, including myself, go about our day feeling this way.

It’s a lie we tell ourselves. A lie or an omission we permit ourselves because we feel like in order to prove we have made an impact with someone we need to see those HUGE numbers or fame or recognition. That needs to change.

We all have these small moments where, if we only take care to pay attention, these things are happening. A simple retweet or share by me(even though I don’t have big social media numbers anywhere), puts that other work in front of the people that choose to follow me. Hell, even a simple post of MY OWN content puts that work out there and suddenly one other person see’s it that maybe didn’t know me or my work previously. They reach out, we have a conversation. We make a connection.

Sure, it’s not curing cancer every time we interact with someone. But those small interactions lead to bigger personal connections. And even though a simple conversation doesn’t feel like much in the moment, that is where the real power of connection sits.

Think about how amazing it is that even one other person connects with whatever work you are putting out! Be it words, photos, drawings, podcasts, paintings, whatever. We can never know how our work is going to touch someone else out there, someone we don’t even know yet.

That’s why the world needs you and I to just keep sharing, keep creating. Putting our voice out there. But remember, don’t spend all your time shouting. Pay attention to those little connections that happen. Be it someone reaching out to you or two different friends connecting with each other through you.

Don’t get hung up on it, don’t fixate over patting yourself on the back. But recognize it, smile, soak in the good feeling and then keep putting yourself out there. Good things are happening all around you, who are you connecting with today?

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David (Usually Dave) Szweduik is a photographer, podcaster, and all around geek from the great state of Minnesota and can be found weekly on his podcast Adventures in Creativity. There you’ll find him having conversations fueled by curiosity around the amazing world of all things creativity. If you want even more terrific creativity based content, feel free to join the fun with the Newsletter!

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