Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Social networking medium nets me free beer

Last night was supposed to be a night for Poetry Scores - a board meeting and a strategy session - but instead it became a milestone, for me, in social media.

As the 42-year-old father of a 6-year-old who also has a demanding, absorbing dayjob, I - appropriately and electively - have no adult social life to speak of. Or, at least, speaking of it wouldn't take up much time (about a "tweet").

For me and a lot of people like me, social media have become, largely, a simulation of a social life, rather than a meaningul contributor to an actual, third-dimensional social life.

Not for us the cryptic status updates about what we are eating or where we are drinking, because "what my wife cooked for the family" or "cranberry juice in the kitchen while the kid watches iCarly" just isn't something anyone else should be asked to "follow".

So, imagine my surprise, last night, when an abruptly cancelled arts org board meeting and a new songwriting partner who wasn't returning my call (using the archaic social networking medium of the cell phone) left me in an unfamilar place: in an adult social setting, at a tavern, with a laptop connected to the internet, and the intention of leaving that social setting for a similar one that was nearby.

Gazillions of 20-somethings and 30-somethings would shield their eyes in shame at me, at this point, with little more than an "OMG!" that I was even talking about an experience that is, to them, as common as brushing their teeth. But there I was, all set up to issue the status update of a person half my age with a whole lot more on the ball, socially:

Impersonating footloose 20- and 30-somethings, I report my departure from Royale intent for CBGB. Detonating laptop and disappearing from public record at this time.
And guess what! OMG! I walked into the next adult social setting, the South Grand dive bar CBGB (where I love the bartender on Monday nights and the music he plays), and I actually run into somebody who was there because he read my status update and he wanted to see me!

Shazam! This social networking media thing can actually, like, help you network, socially! And there is more! This person who read my status update and walked to the tavern to see me - the talented artist and mensch Bradley Bowers - bought me a beer! OMG! This social networking thing can actually get me drinking free beers!

I don't want to be any younger, really, and I don't want to have a busier adult social life, because that would mean I was less married and less engaged as father. But, still, this is so cool!



Image by Simon Pericich.

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