“I heard she joined a huge cult, with many followers”. This was the rumour about me when I found & joined twitter three years ago….
So, last month I headed up to Canada to meet @Nick Kellet for lunch, and at the border as usual I was asked why was I going to Canada (meet Nick Kellet for lunch), how did I know Nick (met him on Twitter.) Well, please come inside…. I was politely detained, questioned, and my car was searched! I asked the official why was saying ‘I was meeting up with someone I had met on twitter’ a red flag to her? The response I received was that ‘this was not normal’, and on top of this, driving 250 miles for lunch was even more ‘not normal’! Clearly, from their questions they were suspicious that I was up to no good, or the both of us were. Perhaps they thought I been hoodwinked by this online-Nick, on whom they quickly did a search, having verified the correct spelling of his name.
While watching the stream from #SOBcon recently, one noteworthy participant spoke about the tremendous support she received from the group (many she had met on twitter), and she elaborated on how her friends and family (not on twitter), simply did not comprehend her online networking and friendships; friends just as real, but with way more understanding and support of her start-up initiative. She could communicate things to her Social Media friends, which might have seemed alarming to others.
How many of you have the unique challenge of reconciling those that get the “power” of our online networks and those that don’t? Most often those not involved with the likes of Twitter? How do you reconcile what is apparently becoming two separate parts of our lives?
Or does it really matter? I know I am getting more hesitant to share what really interests me (online) these days with old friends and relatives, who are skeptical about the power of our online networking world, a world I didn’t know I was missing until I arrived there!
One thing that has worked for me in bridging the online and the offline lives I lead (note I am saying two lives is ‘The Tao of Twitter’ the short, easy-read book by @MarkWSchaefer. It may not convert the reader (not convert as in not really a cult), but it does inform friends, relatives, business associates & even acquaintances, that there is a responsible business focus to online initiatives like twitter ~ it underlines what I am trying to communicate, that twitter is not a cult, but a real global networking opportunity for many of us. Needless to say I’ve totally lost touch with the former friend who started the cult rumour about me!
Will my recent lunch with Nick be a “life changing meeting” or even (god forbid) a “pivot” point? I forgot to mention I first encountered an avalanche blocking my chosen route to Canada, so had to detour and go to plan B. Maybe that’s what the ‘Cult of twitter’ is really all about; a relentless, focused journey to meeting new, interesting and enlightening people…..
When passing through the border on my return after having had lunch with Nick, I said when asked the purpose of my trip to Canada, “Oh, I was just meeting an old friend from the UK”. The ‘transparency of Real Life’….. that’s normal of course.
Please share how you reconcile your multiple lives….or if indeed you do?
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