Through the miracle that is the World Wide Web many things have been made possible. People are able to find jobs, continue their educations, find meaningful relationships, spend money on just about anything you can imagine, sell just about anything you can imagine... and find and catch up with old friends and acquaintances.
This last is what I have found interesting in the Social Networking scheme of things. Before the WWW, Social Networking is what happened when dinner parties for the boss and co-workers were thrown by ambtitous ladder climbers; cocktail parties on Friday evenings were standard operating procedure with an open door policy to all the couples in the neighborhood; back yard BBQ's and pool parties with the parents and kids from your children's little league teams were held to celebrate another game-win or lose. These were the tools of Social Networking of yesteryear.
How is it done today? Why on Classmates, FaceBook, Twitter, MySpace of course. On these inventions from the Geeks of our youth we can seek out and contact people we once knew, or knew of, with a relative anonymity that one cannot get at a Backyard BBQ.
And with this certain guise of distance found on the WWW it seems that more and more people are opening up to those who contact them from their past, and are in turn doing the same. In the not so distant past this exercise of finding out about and then contacting someone from your past may have been considered stalking. But on Facebook or Classmates it has the appearance of just being old friends dropping in to say Hi! without actually doing the dropping in part. I have found, and been found by, more people than I can even imagine. O fcourse my friends list can be divided into several groups- School Alumni I have contacted because of the reunion I am planning this year; People from the neighborhood I grew up in , which includes classmates and those who moved before attending highschool; and people from my children's extracurricular activities like sports, DeMolay and Rainbow.
This new Social Networking has allowed me, like many others, to connect and interact with others with similar interests and shared memories, without neglecting our work and home committments. It has also been very instrumental in helping me to find my Niche in life.
I have found that I am a facilitator. I have helped others to find homes, jobs, loved ones and ones to love just by knowing them and passing along info that I think they could use- a name , a link, an email address, a job posted on a site... and I find that I like it.
Now I need a facilitator to help me sell my house and get my family moved-- no takers there I see!
Until then I will continue to contact old classmates and neighbors to pass on the Reunion and occasional get togethers that now occur on a regualr basis because of the WWW and the Social Networking found there. I will also continue to email and Facebook old friends and when ever possible, meet them face to face for some old-fashioned Social Networking. Because that is truly the best kind there is. This new fangled Facebook and Twitter and Im-ing is fine, but there just is no substitute for a Saturday afternoon filled with the laughter of family and friends- old and new- coming together to share their time and thier lives with each other. To forge the bond that makes acquaintances become true friends.
So while you are reading my blog, I do appreciate it, make sure you schedule time for a phone call or a lunch or shopping date with an old friend this week. And take the time to get know some of your acquaintances a little better... an afternoon at the mall sounds like fun, don't ya think?
You will be amazed at how easy it is to make Old Friends New Again with just a little of your REAL time spent in their company.
Go Ahead... Try It!