From Stranger to special BFF in 48 hours: A True Twitter Tale (and a look at my life of late!)

19 12 2009

This is a “reprint” of my first blog post which was published on the “Throwing Quarters” blog/podcast (http://www.throwingquarters.com/) Thanks to Adam for allowing me to use it here; I feel it gives you all a good idea of what is currently going on in my life.  A birthday blog post will be up later today!

 

From Stranger to special BFF in 48 hours: A True Twitter Tale

 That is how I would describe my relationship with Adam Gercak (AKA Throwing Quarters).  So when he asked for guest bloggers to help cover his posts over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, it seemed the logical thing to do; the next progression of our friendship. It is also an honor to have this, my first ever blogpost, featured in his blog. 

 But in order to appreciate where Adam and I are today, we need to look back and review how we got here.  Ours is truly a happy story of the ‘social’ aspect of social media; of some of the best results one could hope for from this new era of communication.  The coolest part: versions of this story could be happening to people everyday, maybe even to you!

 The Common Question (?)

 “So how have things been?”  “What’s new?” “Whatcha been up to?”

“How ARE you?”

 How many of us will be asked these ubiquitous questions over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend?  How many times will we answer with polite, generic responses: “Things are the same”, “nothing much”, “I’m good”. 

 I was recently asked these very questions by a friend I hadn’t seen in a few months.  I looked at her and I wasn’t sure where to begin. Instead of giving her one of the usual scripted responses, I was honest with her, telling her how I had been let go from my ‘day job’ on 4/3/09 – and I that am still job hunting.

 I saw her look of concern and sympathy, but before she could say anything, I told her it was all ok – even better than ok. Now she looked puzzled. 

 I explained I felt like Dorothy when she opened the door from her black and white world to the new world of Oz in Technicolor, or, maybe more appropriately, like Neo, when he swallowed the red pill and wakes up in ‘the real world’ and begins to understand the true nature of The Matrix.

 No, I wasn’t on drugs: rather, I had finally discovered the world of social media, and I couldn’t imagine how I had ever lived without it.  She looked skeptical and dismissive, possessing the same attitude I had toward social media only 6 months ago: Facebook and twitter are a playground for self-absorbed people with way too much time on their hands.

 Extolling the virtues and conveniences of twitter (especially once I had been shown Tweetdeck) fell on deaf ears with her, and the glazed look in her eyes made me realize I was losing her.  I offered to give her an example of the power of twitterverse….  Here it goes….

The common (or not-so-common?) occurrence

 My first day on twitter was Friday, 7/31/2009; just five short months ago. (I’m @KaseyCrabtree, BTW).  Two weeks later, Friday August 14, 2009, I experienced my first #FollowFriday using Tweetdeck.  It was so exciting – I felt like I had arrived! I think I had about 75-100 followers at that point and was excited to connect with new people. 

 @TeamNEO (an organization that promotes business growth and development in NE Ohio) had several #FollowFriday suggestions, many were business, but there was one in the list that was just a name – @acgercak.  I clicked on it and stumbled across one of Adam’s great Throwing Quarters blog entries discussing an “off day” vs. a “day off”.  The quick read was entertaining, candid, witty and well written. I was intrigued.

I tweeted him back complimenting his writing, and so began a dialog between us.  Based on some of his writing, I wondered if he worked in retail?  yes he did; I then shared how I had recently been let go from a high-end retail job myself.  As our short tweets continued back and forth, we both began to see a picture of each other and how many common interests we shared.  Moreover, he was working practically right across the street from my condo, AND we both regularly frequented the same Starbucks.  It was quite the series of coincidences!

 I can’t remember the exact sequences of events as he discovered I work part-time as a radio DJ (Adam also has some radio experience), and I then invited me to attend the taping of a ThrowingQuarters podcast on Sunday Aug 16th at The Barley House.  Sunday rolled around; I went to the show featuring singer/songwriter Adam Taylor (@AdamTaylorMusic) and then found myself sitting in on the recording of the podcast, interjecting questions.  It all seemed so effortless, so natural, so comfortable.  By the time the night had ended, many smiles had been exchanged and pictures taken.

 Adam seemed like a friend I had known for years, yet 48 hours prior, neither one of us had known of the other’s existence (Adam may have heard me on the radio).  Now, I couldn’t imagine not having this kindred spirit in my life.  I told him he was like my new BFF GF, but he wasn’t a girl, nor was he gay!  However, I felt like I could talk with him about almost anything, and I have!

 We are still good friends; I have come to know his wife Jenn, and I tease both of them about the fact that they may have named their new daughter Addison, but I already had a 3 yr old cat by the same name.  See??? Yet another coincidence. 

 Now remember, this wonderful friendship is ALL a DIRECT RESULT of having connected on twitter.

 So what did my friend think of this story? She was intrigued, but still concerned about my current status. I acknowledged that on paper, my situation might seem bleak:  I am divorced with no kids (I have 3 cats), I have been unemployed for over 6 months, plus I am deeply in debt and terribly behind on all my bills.

 I smiled and looked her straight in the eyes.  All these facts are true; these are all hurdles for me to overcome.  However, I have more hope and a stronger positive feeling toward the future than I have had in over 10 years!  I feel that our society is on the cusp of a new dimension of communication, almost as significant as the invention of the printing press. 

Yet more importantly, I feel like I have finally found “my people”.  A community of caring, positive, foreword-thinking people who embrace change and the future, with excitement and awe.  I have happily stepped into the new world of Social Media, and with every bone in my body; I believe it represents my future. 

To paraphrase a line from a favorite book, please join me; please join US, as we ‘tweet the road of happy destiny’.  See you all in the twitterverse!