my experience at the Catholic New Media Conference, it got me to thinking...
I so value what I receive from my online faith community, i.e. all of YOU. I also met some people at the conference who I "know" via podcasts and Twitter that I consider part of my Catholic community. Whether it be in a podcast, or on a blog (such as this one), when you share your life online with others, you feel bonded to them in a special way, even if you never or rarely see each other in real life. This has gotten even more pronounced for me in the past year as I have become active on Twitter and linkups on other blogs.
It makes me feel so...very ME to be a part of this community. My Twitter handle is @CatholicTiffany for a reason. That's a gigantic part of my identity, and it feels good to have people accept that about me. When I was a child (you knew it was coming, it's THE TIFFANY ANECDOTE, the train derails temporarily and you sigh, settle in, and hope that I remember where I was originally going with all of this...), I never felt as if I belonged in the community of which I was a part, namely school. My family, yes, that was always a warm and supportive environment, but the only other piece of the puzzle that I had when I was growing up always felt...not quite right, sort of like a handknit sweater in which you accidentally knit one sleeve longer than the other (not that I would know anything about that *delicately clears throat*). I hid a lot of things that were important to me because I feared that I would not be accepted because of them:
I'm a reserved person. I was voted Shyest in my senior class if this is any indication of the exact state of affairs. I didn't know my male counterpart when we went to get our photo taken for the yearbook, because, you know, we were SHY. We had never talked to each other before.
I'm Catholic and proud of it.
I like to read and I'm a bit of a nerd. Hence the subsequent librarian thing.
I knit in public.
I'm a belly dancer. I do that in public too. Yes, it's modest and family friendly, I promise.
I'm a wife and mother, and I believe that these roles are instrumental in the morality of our society. As is a chaste religious or single life.
Any one of these things could make people who don't know me scratch their heads in wonder (or perhaps annoyance) but I finally know that those who take the time to get to know me, whether in real life or online, appreciate and accept me for all of the above. And I adore you. :)
And so this week I want to celebrate our online community. A few quick plugs and then I'll get to the heart of this post. I listen to a lot of Catholic podcasts, and my CNMC socializing has garnered me a few mentions amongst online friends who have my utmost admiration:
Catholic Weekend is one of my favorite podcasts, I've listened for years. In episode 195, the CNMC Wrap-up, Maria Johnson mentions the Catholic Librarian, and let's just say that I nearly snorted out my tea in surprise and joy as I listened. I'm just very subtle and lady-like that way.
I also had the pleasure of meeting Fr. Darryl Millette at the CNMC, from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He has a podcast called The SportsFathers in which he and other priests talk about current sports goings on, and yours truly gets a shout out in his most recent episode, #24!.
Ok! Do you have a blog or podcast? Yes? Write a post and linkup so that we can all get to know each other better! You can write about:
(1) How you got started in social media (don't forget to mention how we can find you on there), or
(2) How you started your blog or podcast (and don't worry if it's not Catholic focused, you can still linkup!), or
(3) Why you value our online Catholic community.
Don't forget to include a link back to this blog, many thanks! All right, you are officially set loose...