Thursday, September 19, 2013

Of meetups and social media

I am a Millennial (1977-1992). But I am also a Gen X (1965-1976). I seem to be caught within that disputed demographic break between the two generations. (Source:Pew Research study.)  

Am saying this because two decades ago, the computer and the internet were something that were discussed academically in school. Three-fourths of those classes where spent in textbooks rather on actual computers. In fact, back then we only have a handful in my school. 

Mid-90s, I finally had a "real" computer class spent in a computer lab. It's where we learned DOS and other archaic basic computing. Ha ha ha. 

From my textbook computer literacy up until today, I am fascinated with the computer and the vast universe of cyber space. Needless to say that today, I find myself 24/7 connected. To some, it may be pathetic. To me though it means being able to access, connect and communicate. 

It is this innate desire to be wired all the time that I have totally embraced technology and the social media. The world that is so huge suddenly shrank in the palm of my hands. It is amazing, awesome, fun and wonderful. It rocks!

I think I am of those who goes with the flow of the times. Back in the day, I wrote letters to friends. And wait with bated breath for my neighborhood Mr Postman for my mails. I was also one of those who wasted "cell phone loads" when texting was in vogue. I cringe whenever I thought of those morning messages that were the mobile's version of chain letters. No regrets though, it was my form of connection. 

When email became more practical, I used it with a fierceness rivaling food craving. I sent hundreds of emails to say hellos and goodbyes. 

But time, distance and energy can take a toll in ones social obligations. Eventually, I lost touch with some friends especially acquaintances and distant relatives. 

And then social media happened. I must admit though, I didn't get caught up with Friendster. I was barely there. But when Facebook became the social network of choice, I was not too cool to ignore it. In fact, I embraced it with too much gusto-- checking my timeline every few minutes, always trying to come up with a witty response to "what's on your mind?" question. It was then that I discovered that writing cryptic status updates get your network's attention. People are just naturally nosy or drawn to a scent of intrigue. Ha ha ha. 

That must have been over five years ago. Today, the various social media platform offers a variety of choices from microblogging (Twitter, Tumbler), geo tagging (Foursquare), photo-sharing communities (Instagram and Flicker) to full-on blogging (Blogger, Wordpress, etc). 

Imagine the possibilities! Endless. It is through social media that I met some of my new friends. And discovered that my sphere of influence has truly shrank from the old six degrees of separation to just a little over 1-- 1.17 to be exact. 

One of my activities is practicing Bikram Yoga. Naturally, I want my connections to know that. Absurd, I know. So, I check-in at Foursquare. It was in one of those numerous check-ins that we discovered that a current friend (Kira) and somewhat an old acquaintance Dan that we "run" in the same circle. 

That fateful night of comment exchange led to an actual meetup. We had a lovely catch up dinner over New York-style burger at the Burger Bar. My yummy food choice. We talked too much, I forgot to take pictures of my companions choices.
Bleu Burger P355/single patty.

Skinny Fries
We had a great time connecting and re-connecting. Yes, we gossiped, enjoyed good food, night capped with coffee and dessert. The hours flew by. We ended the night with promises to meet again. 

Night Cap at Bizu.
That collage sort of went "viral" as it generated almost 100 likes in less than an hour. What an aberration. We had a good ribbing over dessert and eavesdropping on the next table's occupants. Can't help it they were very loud and sporting a valley accent. We thought maybe from the call center? Awkward.

It was a riot night punctuated with clicks, phone checks and laughter. Thank you technology and social media, you made the world so much smaller and accessible. 

Good times. 



No comments:

Post a Comment