by Rhadhika Ram Tevita
My journey in social media is either illuminating because it affirms my geek girl status emerged fairly early or is entirely innocuous because my audience is of like mind! I am suspecting the latter here!
Social Media as we know it today is the evolution of a number of different channels over quite a length of time. My first hotmail account was set up around 1996. This opened up a world beyond chatrooms and gave ‘relationships’ somewhere to go. This was also around the time I became fairly active in the elderly aunt of chat rooms, Internet Relay Chat (IRC). I mention IRC because I am noting some similarities with Twitter now and hope that some of the joy I had in IRC is replicated e.g. a friend from New Jersey and I are still in contact today. As fickle as online relationships can be, I have found there is a natural human desire to believe in the people that cross your path.
My first role out of university was in a software development group in a government agency in New Zealand. ‘Geekdom’ was easy to manage in those days but online engagement changed again when I started legal studies, followed by legal roles. Blogging finally came not long after I registered my first ever domain in 2005. It was late by most standards and entirely as a result of a friend from high school returning from the UK presenting me with options of a domain registry that I could afford. It was a stop/start affair as I was more motivated by finding ways to stay connected with loved ones (Mark Zuckerberg was still experimenting on Harvard students with Facebook and it was really only taking off in that part of the world). Soon accounts on Bebo, MySpace, Imeem, and Facebook followed.
The online footprint was ever expanding and in 2006 leading up to my wedding I was building web pages (with the most embarrassing rusty HTML coding skills known to mankind) to keep guests posted on plans, accommodation & post photos etc. I was linking music playlists, photo galleries and message boards. What Facebook and many other platforms are today would have saved me an awful lot of time back then! Setting things up took forever. When I look back and read the old posts they still make me laugh so I guess it couldn’t have been too horrendous!
Social media has opened up a world where I can share my passion for music, food, culture, gadgetry, and people with likeminded individuals. The world has truly opened up for me as an incredible opportunity to meet electric personalities and as a recent resident to Sydney a wonderful way to experience the city and make new friends. As is with anything you take the good with the bad – there will always be sharks that swim in the same waters but on the whole my experiences have been positive and particularly rewarding. So long as you exercise the usual caution you would with any relationship when it comes to safety, finances and family, you can navigate these murky waters fairly unscathed.
Professionally social media has given me back the confidence to undertake a few new challenges that are aligned with my passions. Although I’m entrenched in the corporate world I have found the association with small business owners in this sphere enlightening and motivating. To start my day with some great blog posts, humorous tweets and insightful writing puts me in the right frame to be a superwoman in my day job (have a think about that if you’re a sceptical employer).
Social Media Women was a logical next step for me and representing the female voice in the social media space is an ethos I support.
Rādhikā Ram Tevita is a solicitor and marketing management specialist originally from New Zealand