It’s been nearly 6 years since the beginning of Twitter. I always rued the day that I signed on board for another beast of social burden. It seemed obsolete. Just another way for people to post wholly dissatisfying life updates that no one really cares about. It seemed to attract the heralds of pointless Facebook statuses and overwhelmingly emotional AIM away messages. Emo. Self-serving. Not my ideal use of time.
To this day, I still don’t use Twitter nearly as much as the rest of the teenagers and socially isolated folks who keep their heads buried in their smart phones to send obligatory sports and/or political tweets. But I do use it. And I am thankful for signing up, as my timing happened to be rather fortuitous.
I signed up for Twitter in July 2011, but chose not to engage the tweet portal until late August. I thought it a useful tool for spreading the word on a social justice documentary that I shot with my best friend. This is me and Ben:
Just kidding. That’s not me. But that is a Tanzanian man who swindled us at the Marangu Gate at Mt. Kilimanjaro!
This is us. Here’s a link to the documentary if you wish:
But enough about us. At this same time I tried to bolster our film, I also found myself in the throes of job hunting. Following a whopping 10 people, I thought I’d “up the ante” and seek out productive connections. One of them happened to be Behance—and subsequently, BehanceJobs.
I came upon this site months before this moment, perusing other artists’ work, but never invested more than a couple minutes of my time on the site. It’s basically a social networking site for creative people who want to highlight their portfolios and find work. Sounded right up my alley.
Not two weeks after following BehanceJobs did I scroll through my homepage feed to find this:
When I clicked on the link (no longer available, go figure: the job’s taken!), I was directed to a job description sent directly from the Heavens. Pencils of Promise is looking for a badass digital storyteller who wants to spend time in NYC and in Laos, Nicaragua and Guatemala. Ideally a visionary filmmaker and recent college graduate… say no more! I have been taking my little Canon zr800 (a birthday gift from my father in freshman year of college) everywhere, documenting and filming everything I could. Telling stories was a hobby into which I poured my heart. This was perfect. I immediately applied to the posting.
Fast forward two months, and I knew when it was 12pm on a Sunday afternoon and I was on the phone booking flights to travel to Guatemala—boarding a midnight flight in 11 hours from the end of that phone call—that things were looking good.
Quite the whirlwind. But now I feel so lucky and blessed to be doing what I do. I am telling stories through photography and filmmaking for a nonprofit organization that operates internationally. I get to travel. I get to take pictures and make videos—probably just a little bit more than I normally would have given the scenario. I get to work with sincerely motivated individuals and communities, all very passionate towards the success of a generation to “empower the world.” This is my perfect post-college dream job.
Twitter is great. It’s great because it breaks down barriers and gives a person access to things normally inaccessible: physical distance, levels of celebrity, and ability to easily self-promote and endorse others. Sure, I use it for self-promotion, a comedy outlet, and a time-waster. All things considered, I love twitter for its capacity to spread knowledge and media.
Behance is great. If you’re a creative person and haven’t utilized the fruits of this portfolio and networking site, I highly recommend.
And Pencils of Promise is great. It’s the reason I’m traveling to Asia, Africa, and South America over the course of this year.
For my old roommate who is amused by Twitter (@BenjaminGKey), or for those groups of girls who tweet to each other their inside jokes and friday night plans (@laurencampbelll)—keep using it. It’s remarkable that I can laugh out loud to some of the most profane—yet hilarious—tweets from base comedian Rob Delaney, and accidentally stumble upon a dream job. Why the hell not? Go with your gut, and believe in yourself. Let’s call a spade a tweet and…oh god I’ve lost my train of tweet. #clichehashtag
chris battaglia is a staff writer for this blog, namely because it is his blog and no one else wants to write for it. Follow him @yourneighborcab and his employer @PencilsofPromis to catch some of the content intermingle with each other.Posted 2 years ago with 23 notes