Have you heard the one about how social networking is destroying IRL (“in real life”) person to person interaction? There are articles that pop up from time to time about the evils of Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and the like – and to be honest, it tends to get annoying.
Social networking sites are like many other objects of question in an individual’s life: they are tools. How you choose to use said tools is based (honestly) on your intelligence and personality.
With the busy lifestyles so many friends of mine (and I) have, Facebook and Twitter have helped create IRL interactions that would NEVER have happened otherwise. In short: my friends and I know how to use our tools
Last weekend I went to see Robin Williams perform in Orlando, Florida (phenomenal show, BTW) with a group of friends and I saw on my Facebook that another old friend of mine that I had not see in seven years was also going.
(WARNING: TECH GEEK MOMENT) – My Palm Pre (cell phone) integrates my Facebook information into my contact list. When we got to the arena in Orlando, I looked up the aforementioned friend in my contacts and (tada!) I had his cell phone number. I called him and we got to meet up and hang out at the show.
Social networking moment of win.
In the past year, that has happened a number of times. Here are some other examples:
– I found out an old friend on Facebook whom I worked with at Universal Studios and had not seen in almost 13 years lives in Colorado where I take an annual business trip. My wife and I met him for dinner in Boulder and went white water rafting together.
– I went and saw Journey in concert and a friend on Facebook saw that Shannon and I were going to be there. She (the friend) sent me a message saying she attending the same show that evening. Through a series of messages (sent from my cell phone) we were able to meet up and hang out together at the concert.
– One of my friends from high school that I had not seen in person since 1995 was in town a few months back. I saw this in Facebook – and we were able to meet up for dinner in one of our favorite pizza places in the town we grew up in together.
Side note: I think I’m eating too much pizza based on this post.
Those are just moments I remember. There are a bunch of “were going here tonight” moments where folks have found out through Facebook/Twitter – allowing me to spend more time with friends in the real world.