“The Norm” is like a Beach.
Today, a reflection on the impact of social media on my life particularly as it relates to my participation in the community of readers and authors, especially LGBT+ authors, bloggers, and readers.
I live in coastal Maine in a rather remote area. I telecommute, working remotely in health care, and my primary social contacts are family members, specifically grandchildren.
Maine is not known for diversity and one might think that a grandmother with one foot on a banana peel from rural Maine might be rather limited in social connections and sphere of understanding and influence and you would be entirely wrong.
My social media connections and, in some cases, friends include best-selling authors and fledgling authors, editors, proofreaders, bloggers, designers and many cover models. I also connect and communicate personally with extremely talented photographers, competitive bodybuilders, and porn stars. I know personally, via social media, an Emmy Award-winning voice actor, a Hollywood screenwriter and Joffrey Ballet dancer. One must never forget Yanis Marshall, the Queen of Heels. Yesterday, a connection, Matthew Richardson Circus Arts of The Arrow fame, told me that he is now performing with Cirque du Soleil in Varekai.
I recognize that even though I communicate and connect with these people, they don’t ‘know’ me and I don’t really know them BUT through each connection have come others and opportunities that I could not have imagined. I’ve had opportunities to assist a person in a domestic violence situation and to support brand new authors. There have been times that I talked someone ‘off the ledge’ so to speak and other times I’ve been able to add technical details from my health care experiences. I’ve been asked for feedback on stories, on book covers and ideas for better mutual support of our ‘family’. Numerous stories have been sent to me, pre-publish, for my review and thoughts. There have been times when my opinion has been valued on so many artistic works of beauty that I’m stunned when I reflect and consider.
These social media connections brought an opportunity to be peripherally associated with the founding sisters of Passionflix, a brand new and exciting vehicle for productions from my favorite romance novels. Streaming TV from romance novels that I read and recommended!
Each connection positively affects my life by bringing other connections and a better although ever imperfect understanding of humanity and its diversity. My friends include people from every point on the bell curves of human sexual orientation, ethnicity, and culture. I’ve learned that every single person is unique and not like any other despite some traits of similarity.
I’ve seen joy and sorrow associated with being different and considered ‘deviant’ because there is a deviation from someone’s definition of ‘the norm’. Today I embrace my new normal and that I know, myself, that there is no norm. I see the norm as a beach that moves and changes with the weather, the tides and with each new storm. And most of all, I’m thankful for you and for this.