It might not be the hottest topic anymore, and I'm sure everything that could have been said has already been said, but that's not going to stop me from making a totally redundant statement: "Social networking is the new way for people to connect and communicate with the world around them."
I'm a user of Blogger, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and my latest addition, Instagram. While these are all entertaining to me, in one way or another, I would like to share with you, one of my favorite social networks, Fitocracy.
It's a network for anybody who is interested in fitness, exercise, diet, nutrition and healthy living. I will let wikipedia explain the details: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitocracy
I've been a member since March 16, 2012. Since then I've logged all my activities, completed quests and achievements, joined different interest groups and followed some spectacular people on their journey towards a stronger, fitter and healthier life.
Why is this network so appealing? First of all, it's mostly anonymous. You're free to choose any profile picture and user name. Most people use nicknames and many profile pics are of a cartoon, a quote or a flexed muscle.
Some people use it solely as a tool for tracking workouts while others are connected to thousands of people and active in several interest groups. It doesn't matter, there is room for everyone. And there is really room for everyone. Fitocracy hosts bodybuilders, Cross-fitters, ultra marathoners as well as people who just made the decision to eat better, who've lost their first pound, people who are recovering from injuries or other health issues and average Joes.
Unlike my other social networks, the overwhelming majority of the people I'm connected to are total strangers to me. I know them solely by how much they lift, how fast they run or how much weight they have lost. Because of the anonymity, people have the freedom to boast about their successes as well as show weakness when things are tough and look for comfort and support.
If I use my own journey as an example, I had a whole group of people who cheered me on when I finished my marathon, people who understood, on a fundamental level, what an accomplishment it was, both running it and training for it. Recently, when my motivation dwindled, they were there to lend support and encouragement. Sometimes it's enough to read about someone else's progress or struggle to motivate you and lift your spirit. Hopefully I've been able to give back what I have received. It truly is heart-warming when someone tells you that you're an inspiration.
On fitocracy you will find countless photos of half-naked people flexing their muscles, of weight-loss progress, of food, of inspirational quotes and of race finishers. It's all in good spirit but if you can't stand it, Fitocracy is not for you. But if you want to learn, share and be inspired to live a healthy and strong life, I think you should give it a try. And if you do, look me up. Username: JenniferLT