For friendship, for learning and for giving?

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What can social media give you? What can social media help you to give to others? What’s the best thing social media has done for you lately? Care to share?

Social media offers and enables so much. At its best, social media can enable people to come together and give of their best in a way that can way exceed the sum of the parts. At its best, social media can speak to the individual and help them to improve their own life.

To tweet, perchance to #tweepathon
I’m bowled over by the generosity of people acting together and giving back to the wider world, united through social media. Today (Sunday 20 March 2016) has witnessed an ingenious and quite wonderful event, inspired and enabled by social media. The #tweepathon – a kind of tagteam, relay marathon sort of affair – is the brainchild of Simon Heath (a true gent, whose path I first crossed via Twitter).

Here’s how Simon describes this unique event and its indebtedness to the unique connectivity that social media at its best makes possible:

“26 volunteers will run a tag marathon in aid of Sport Relief in 15 minute stages starting at 7am and finishing at approximately 1:30pm. From Bushy Park to the south west of London to Reigate in Surrey via Rome and Romania. […] Two legs are being run by children. One leg is being conducted by bicycle. Some legs will be walked. Dogs will run too. Some of us have met in real life before. Twitter is the place that brought us all together. For work, for friendship, for learning and for giving.”

I particularly love Simon’s last few words there. Social media are just that – a set of media enabling social interactions at their best and most beneficial, including those “for work, for friendship, for learning and for giving.” I also love the way so many of the tweeps taking part in the #tweepathon used social media to share pre- during- and post-run words, images and videos, plus numerous messages of support for the next tweep picking up the virtual baton. For example, here’s Mr Mathew Davies channeling a certain taxi driver as he psyches himself up for the big event.

And here’s Alison Chisnell live from her leg of the #tweepathon challenge, with her two daughters (aka “The Chislettes”) providing a bicycle cavalcade right behind!

Now it’s over to us!

At the time of writing, the #tweepathon hashtag is still going strong. Click on the hashtag to catch up on the latest tweets, and please do consider donating to this superb cause. I can only echo Paul Taylor’s tweeted sentiments below – let’s push #tweepathon towards and past the £2k milestone! “It’s within our power!”

#Findwhatfeelsgood
I’m bowled over by the generosity with which some people use social media to give their gifts to the world. Earlier this month, my other half suggested I give yoga a try. She’d happened across a quite wonderful series of youtube videos entitled Yoga with Adriene, and – knowing I am not the type ever to join a club to give such things a go in semi-public – thought they might work for me.

I gave yoga a go once before in the earliest days of this present millennium of ours. It was not pretty. It was quite creaky.

I am delighted to report that my experiences thus far with the Yoga with Adriene videos are quite different. I am certainly not suggesting that I am or ever will be an accomplished yogi (or Yoda). But a few goes at each of the two videos embedded below has helped me hugely… and at the end of each, I feel not just calmer and a wee bit less decrepit – I also feel an overwhelming gratitude to Adriene for being so generous. Judging by the sheer weight of views and affirmative comments on her videos, enormous numbers of people are finding this series of free videos helpful and life-enhancing.

Her motto in each video is “find what feels good” (helpfully enhashtagged thusly: #findwhatfeelsgood). Each video is pitched to a specific level of ability and experience. Each is gently encouraging. I’m all for the DIY approach in all walks of life. So I love that in these videos, Adriene actively discourages spending a great deal on expensive clothes and accoutrements to enable you to enyoga-ulate. The second video embedded below suggests you find whatever pillow and blanket you have lying about as ‘props’.

Gentle reader, I will not be offended if you choose never to click on either of these two videos. But I share them here in the hope that even one person might get as much from them as I have these past few weeks.

Please share!
What’s the best thing social media has done for you lately? The benefits that social media has to offer are as broad and diverse as the multitudes of people using and connecting via social media. I’d love to know your own latest social media highlights and inspirations… please share!

Footnotes

  • The image at the top of this page proudly displays Simon Heath’s aforementioned #tweepathon post on my laptop, next to an image (selected for its appropriateness to the now-completed #tweepathon) from a quite wonderful set of 100 postcards themed around a certain series of films, which I received as a birthday gift the other week from my friend Kate Griffiths-Lambeth.
  • Tweets, pics and videos from Mat Davies, Alison Chisnell and Paul Taylor reproduced by kind permission of each respective tweep.Thank you!

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