I was at a party recently. I knew about half the folks there and was having a nice time going from chat to chat. At one point, I paused to look around for the next conversation and saw another man across the snack table doing the same thing. I decided to introduce myself, but before I could, he called my name.
“Hi,” I said, walking over. “How do you know who I am?”
He said his name, and I recognized it.
“That’s right! We follow each other on Twitter and Instagram,” I said, thus beginning the next nice round of cocktail party conversation. Turns out he’s dating an old friend of mine, who was also at the party, and I introduced them to friends I had brought.
It reminded me of Jason Dominy, a new friend who’s making it his mission to keep the “social” in “social media.”
Two years ago, Jason started reaching out to Twitter connections – people he’d never met IRL (In Real Life) — and asking them to meet for coffee or lunch.
“I thought I was kind of silly that we live in the same city, we have a lot in common, I like what they have to say – and we’d never even sat down and talked.”
He says his goal is to connect with people in “real and relevant ways.” He’s met about 75 so far, and some have led to lasting friendships or business connections. He calls his effort 2Dto3D and has posted a photo album from the meetings on his Facebook page.
“People are tired of the façade that social media can give,” says Jason, a social media manager at an Atlanta agency. “Anything that gives you a chance to break that down, well, people are interested in that.”
What about you? Have you had similar instances of expanding your real-life contacts via Twitter, Facebook or other social media?
Or do you think this is still a way to avoid contact with actual people? That online “relationships” are just a way of self-isolating?
I like Jason’s efforts. I was glad he reached out to me and I’ve enjoyed getting to know him. And at that party a few weeks ago, Twitter and Instagram helped paved the way for some fun introductions.
Would they have happened anyway? Maybe, but an icebreaker is as an icebreaker does, right?
‘We’re both stunned’
Now here’s an example of a different kind.
I have a buddy in Miami who noticed over time that he had developed a Twitter friendship with someone he’d never met – someone who didn’t have a name or face on her bio. After naturally tweeting to each other about common interests for several months, my friend asked her to get together for a drink.
That was last fall.
They’ve been dating ever since.
“We were meeting up just for a beer, just because we both seemed interesting to the other,” my pal said. “I’d never seen her until the day I walked into that bar. It was definitely not a date, and neither of us had any ideas about this becoming romantic. We’re both stunned that it did.”
He said not everybody wants to have a wide-open public persona on the Internet, but meeting some of the people you interact with online can have positive outcomes.
“If it wasn’t for Twitter, I never would have fallen for ‘that total stranger I met on the Internet.’”
Ain’t nothing wrong with that.