About 2500 kilometers separate Jackie Lee from her family and friends, but distance is no obstacle when it comes to staying in touch. The 23-year-old uses her video blog and regular social-media updates to keep family and friends in Dallas, Texas informed about her life in New York City.
Since graduating from university and moving across the United States a year and a half ago, Jackie has only visited home twice but calls often. But it’s the ability to share the details – encounters and experiences – that really keep them in close contact. A self-proclaimed Twitter and Facebook "addict", Jackie can post up-to-the-minute snippets of her life in an instant – sometimes while on the move.
"I tweet regularly via my mobile phone about anything – funny or sentimental experiences and memories I want to share and keep," she says.
Jackie also uses her mobile phone to film inspiring sights while out and about, uploading them almost instantaneously to her blog, which is especially useful when sharing her travel memories.
"Sharing these videos makes my family and friends feel as if they were there with me. When I post a video on my blog, my family can see me instead of just hearing my voice, and that brings them that much closer," she says.
When Jackie started her blog eight years ago, blogging was a relatively obscure activity. But today, it is an integral part of the way we communicate, disseminate information and stay in touch.
The networks we are building today are helping change the way the world communicates. A recent Nielsen report on social networking’s new global footprint found that blogs and social networks are now the fourth most popular online activity, ahead of personal e-mail. And the time spent on these sites is growing dramatically, changing the way we behave, share and interact in our daily lives.
Take Jackie as an example. There’s not a day that goes by where she’s not on Facebook – which recently surpassed the 300 million-user mark – or Twitter, a microblogging site she updates while on the move using a mobile broadband connection.
We are all communicating more, sharing our lives with the people we care about, the people we work with, and friends we haven’t yet met. It’s all about keeping in touch, and now that means sharing much more than words.