With all signs of illness banished from the house, I managed to shake myself free from the 5 day old shackles that had bound me and escaped to go meet some other adults this week, not once but twice!
My first outing was to the Dublin twitter social event of the month on Wednesday night. Well it certainly received a lot of twitter promotion in the past few weeks and you'd want to have been living on a far distant planet not to have known it was on! It was fabulously organised by a wonderful group of tweeters, a couple of whom I've only been recently following. They went to a lot of bother on twitter and in reality. There was a blog set up, an Oct12tweetup hashtag, a venue booked and platters of food organised. We even had very posh Oct12tweetup name badges!
Although I've been to a many a facebook meet-up at this stage this was my first ever tweetup. I didn't have to brave it alone though, I
We arrived not truly knowing what to expect. What would the people (or tweeple) be like in real life? Would they be like their twitter persona's or do we all hide behind the sometimes anonymous feel of twitter and our avatars? In my head if I can't see them, they can't see me so I feel ridiculously anonymous on twitter.... which is truly ridiculous! What did the bar manager think when his pub was booked for this thing called a 'tweetup'? One thing I knew for sure though, despite what my family may think of these things called twitter and facebook there would be no axe-wielding 'individuals' or Libyan Generals and the like in attendance!!
And I was right, there wasn't. Just a bunch of really nice, welcoming people is all. Hugs were offered and accepted from tweeters we've been regularly in contact with and new introductions were gladly made. Friendships made online were cemented in reality and new twitter connections forged. It was a lovely night enjoyed by all who attended. It was lovely to see #oct12tweetup light up on twitter in the aftermath and to receive so many warm follow friday mentions today also.
When you follow and engage with some good people, twitter is an amazing place. I'm lucky, I have tons of good people on my follow list. I know that for real now.
My second outing was the very next night when I met up with some friends of old. Some super-mums from my son's first (special) school. Although none (or very, very few) of our children attend the school any longer we nonetheless meet a couple of times a year. It is really great to catch up on how the children are doing and on our lives too. Over a lovely meal and a glass or two of wine, of course! It was a very enjoyable night also.
I value the friends I have. I truly value those I have made in reality as I've traveled through my life to date and now I put equal value on the friends I've made through social media.
Friends are important in life. It doesn't matter how these friendships are forged, whether it's online or in real life situations: friendships are friendships. They all count. They all mean something.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion on online communication via these social sites but people who don't partake shouldn't be so quick to judge those of us who do;-)
And those of us who do enjoy spending time online to engage with our online friends shouldn't forget our real life friends in the process!
We remember and treasure all of our friends.
PS Image credit to wine-canyon.com