How Social Media Shapes My World Today

“Social Media Day”

.5  > 2016!

As a celebration of the amazing people I’ve personally connected with,  I felt the need to pause and reflect on this modern day anomaly called social media.

In 2007  FB facilitated a  re-connection with friends, classmates, colleagues and family. I’m  one of those dual US/Aussie citizens, so it’s a convenient way to check in with people around the world!  When babies are born and people move along life’s path, or someone dear to us unexpectedly joins a band of angels  …  the love, compassion and support from our social community is invaluable! It can be like a salve for the soul. Memories, mutual friends, and a shared reverence for the passage of time. As humans, we all need  genuine connection, honest conversations and a safe place for the truths behind our highlight reels.  A common ground, regardless of physical location.

The launch of Google+ in 2011 (+5 this week!), combined with sharing on soundcloud a few years prior, edged me out of my creative shell enough to share publicly.  It was so inspiring to find like-minded people with different perspectives around the globe. Especially those who were passionate about life and would prompt others to unlock their own greatness.

Let’s not underestimate the power of simple encouragement!

Those early days, when Thomas Hawk +1 a photo, Trey Ratcliff invited us to speak on his shows, Robin Griggs Wood poured her heart and soul into mentorships, and Chrysta Rae set us all scavenging about to hunt for great images – it was a cyber land where permission to share was a given and a few true friendships were forged. Lotus Carroll dared us to boldly reveal ourselves from both sides of the lens and Daria sang for the world from the comfort of home. G+times!  It took more than one Brian to build that photo community but look how it now expands across multiple platforms. While the future may be uncertain the experience remains.

My personal growth in social media was quite unexpected and organic. I simply became more curious about the world, shared conversations with fellow artists, and on occasion, ventured out to meet people in person.

Here’s some of my early work created with an iphone and a few apps.

iCollage

One of my own personal highlights was being  published in this beautiful book!

A Day In The World copy

I’ll be honest.

The print is the size of a postage stamp! Who cares?  It’s a fantastic concept!

I feel grateful to have a copy in my home and to have made a tiny contribution to a global effort that was designed to connect and inspire humankind through photography 😀

In the introduction, Desmond Tutu states that “our need to see and understand each other is greater than ever before … Every picture has added to my experience – my comprehension of life is suddenly clearer”

Wouldn’t you say social media makes this possible every single day?

It’s not all peaches and cream, but I do believe the interwebs will continue to shape and stimulate our experience as human beings for ages to come. As we ride this planet of vast beauty, stark brutality, evolving consciousness and growing awareness, we are also responsible for shaping it. It doesn’t mean that we are slaves to the machine. Or that we forget to earth down into our own energy. It simply provides a portal for a more sustainable life.

So, with  .75 of a million online followers, 8 Billion+ views, a Gmail theme, pins, posts, instagrams – later grams,  visions of steller life, streams, Youtube vids,  rapid firing snapchats…

I wonder.

Where is it all going?

Don’t you?

Often the statistics feel meaningless and we question what kind of tangible value social media actually brings to the table.

Well, a retired chef,  Lauren Bath will tell you it’s totally possible to manifest the dinner on your plate while sharing your passion with the world.  It’s true. There are countless opportunities for those who put their attention on ideas that inspire the soul and feed authentic self-realization. Reach out, seek the bright side and stand your ground – we live in amazing times!

Honestly, if you’re aligned with #becoming a more expressive person, why not connect with the many mentors and teachers willing to share their hard-earned knowledge via social media? There is a phenomenal wealth of free education at your fingertips – go ogle it!

Social media is what YOU make of it. Be it a connection with your deepest self and a path to find your tribes. Or a complete and utter waste of time and negativity.  The power to educate, heal and expand our intelligence as a human race is also available, but only if  we are willing to focus on those concepts.

If the potential to build a better future together is infinitely possible, why NOT choose to drive your social experience in THAT direction? Whenever and whatever way you can.

S’pose that’s all I really wanted to say. At least for now! 😉

With infinite gratitude,

Gx

Sundays at the Park :: Balmoral 

“Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.”  ~Franz Kafka

Balmoral is one of my favourite beaches here in Sydney. It’s a place where the waters are calm and the picturesque scenery presents itself in every direction. Fish & Chips aren’t bad either 😉

Cheers to the timeless beauty we see through our eyes, even as they themselves grow old!

#balmoral   #sydney   #australia #seeaustralia   #textureblendphotography

 

Moving House~

A few of you know I've been searching for a new address – no easy task for Sydneysiders! After literally MONTHS of daily searching & countless disappointments we  now have a new lease! The removalists are booked & I'm pulling up stakes without a moment to spare as demolition/development commences the day we turn in the keys – this place will never be the same. Just as well I took a photo or two 😉

We'll bring with us many great memories of the 5 years we've lived here. And while I've loved the ornate ceilings, unique glass work, grassy yard & glimpses of the harbour, it's the changes & developments in our lives that will forevermore  hold meaning. 

Transition time for internet dis/re-connect = 5 working days.  Back online in about a week's time.

Catch ya on the flip side! Gx

#selfportrait  from last year's #project52  

How to Save a Life~

Hopefully you've already heard this story. This video will save a little girl's life: #SavingEliza If not, here's your chance to help by sharing the video or purchasing a limited edition print for yourself or someone you love at http://savingeliza.smugmug.com/Featured/  …so many amazing contributions – we're spoilt for choice! If you're a fan of my style you can find the below image  "Two Ships" for purchase at http://savingeliza.smugmug.com/Featured/i-zcgFqdb/A 

#SavingEliza 

The Trapezists Dream~

"  … Faith, and Trust, and Pixie Dust.”  ~Peter Pan /J.M. Barrie

Life's a bit like this right now!  I'm on a bridge between two life chapters. Holding on & letting go. Self generating inertia and leaping from one perspective to the next. In non figurative form > my day job of past three years came to a close Saturday and I'm STILL searching for a place to live. Countdown to demolition on our current rental = 23 days! I'm really under the gun here but it always  seems to work out in the end. Usually at the 11th hour  … are we there yet??? lol

On one hand it's exciting to see a new chapter opening up. On the on the other? Well,  it's faith, trust and a whopping dollop of elbow grease mixed in with that pixie dust!

While I'm still channeling creativity through Music & Art I've had very little time with my camera lately 🙁 Hence the recent re-shares of older images. This is likely to be the case over the next month as I re-sort the basics of food & shelter.

Thanks again for being part of the adventure & please accept my apologies in advance for being less communicative.

Cheers to rounding the bend! Man, I sure hope the view's a good one … when I get there I'll be sure to take a picture & share it  😉

All the best~ Gx

Curiosity finally got the better of me! 

While my philosophy and purpose for participating and posting here on +Google+ has always been (and will remain) the same, the platform (which I believe is still in it's infancy), continues to develop and expand.  Less than three yeas ago I'd never made a public post on the interwebs. Today, I have the most viewed G+ content in Australia.

I'd recently seen a few posts via +Mike Shaw+Scott Jarvie & +Yonatan Zunger about the new "views" feature . So, I checked some stats – it's not something I've concerned myself with in the past. From what I can see the new feature is an improved indicator of engagement than the "followers" figure. But the TRUTH (at least from my perspective) remains > this place is what YOU make of it! Be authentic, share something original & reach out to people with genuine sentiment. Be brave enough to be YOURSELF (use your real name) and you'll likely find it a worthwhile & rewarding experience.

One thing I have noticed as the  amount of people using G+ grows  is that despite the increase in "numbers" it is still the same core group of wonderfully talented & creative people who engage on a personal level. Only rarely do I hear from new circlers & I'll confess to being a little nostalgic for those early days when everyone was so excited to find likeminded people in the community & share their creative passions.

Honestly, I hold so much gratitude in my heart & soul for all the positive feedback and encouragement people dish out here. It's purely priceless & there isn't a number in the world that can define the sort of impact that comes from the love, belief, support, appreciation, connection and recognition reflected back and forth between fellow human beings on their contributions both big & small.

You know, I wasn't surprised to see that a lot of people with GINORMOUS G+ followings have proportionally lower views for the crowd of "apparent" interest. Let's face it +Lady Gaga probably isn't ever going to respond to your comments 😛

But, here's what DID surprise me when viewing my own profile statistics on +CircleCount's site http://www.circlecount.com/
Despite squeaking into Australia's  top dozen most "followed" it's the 701 million "views" that put me in this nation's #1 spot. And THAT, ladies & gentlemen, boggles my f'n mind! All I can think is WOW (really?) and THANKYOU! Thank you for taking the time to read my profile ( I should probably go check it for typos now), express your thoughts & share my work. I don't know what it means to be in that position but I do know that I'm only there because of all you people.

Will this statistical knowledge change my behaviour? Prob's not. Haha! Have no fear, I'm not about to start posting cat GIFS or photos of my bare naked body to preserve my Aussie position or increase my following. In fact, I find it challenging to get my head around the reality of it all. The truth is; now that I'm aware of this data the integrity of what I share with you becomes of utmost importance. And it's because of that ethos that I've already turned down several  "piggy backers" offering some sort of monetary gain to share their content with you. I'm here to contribute, inspire & encourage through my own outward expression – not spruik. If I genuinely believe in something or someone I'm only to happy to share out of resonance. And I'll stick to that philosophy for the sake of my own inner peace!

Honestly, I have NO idea where this is going but I always did fancy the thought of being a pioneer. As a child I never could have imagined the human race was destined to venture into an unknown webosphere and build a more connected world on the complexly interwoven plains of a virtual frontier. Cheers to our brave new world!

And thanks again for being such good neighbours 😀

Gx

Standing at the Shore~

10 days ago I launched a little experiment. Now just over 1 hour remains on the clock for your chance to own a museum quality print of one of my images at a super bargain price! Check it out if you like > http://www.32auctions.com/World-First

I set up the auction as a birthday gift to myself in a bid to raise travel funds for a family trip to the USA . My little brother's getting married 🙂 The children are growing up so fast … in the 17 years I've lived here I've made the trip back home 3 times. Although I'm very blessed with a beautiful life my day jobs have only ever afforded the basics. It's a classic tale of save up and break the piggy bank for that unexpected event rather than travel. Now that my children are a bit older I'm working on changing that. But, be warned: if you've ever considered moving here > Sydney gobbles pay checks for rent! 😛 

Anyway,  thank you for tolerating the "plug" it's all new to me … hopefully it only pissed of the one person who bothered to say as much.

Many Blessings~
G