I am networking like there is no tomorrow.
I believe very strongly in keeping in touch with friends and family. Unfortunately for my entire adult life thus far, that faith has, without works, been proven inarguably dead. And so, as I near the close of my thirtieth year of drawing breath, I am trying to make up for lost time, mending as many severed connections as I can. And to do so, I am turning to the Internet in a big way.
I have always been a big fan of Googling my name and the names of acquaintances, just for kicks. But now I am moving beyond the idle voyeurism of my twenties (all right, fine: my entire life) and actually making contact with friends long lost due (mainly) do my habitual negligence toward friendly communication responsibilities. In the past few months I have already reconnected with at least one ‘long-lost friend’ due to determined Googling on my part.
I have also made my first forays into the world of social networking sites, which I had heretofore avoided for reasons mostly curmudgeonly in nature. Based on the references to it in various media stories over the past few years, I associated Facebook with unchecked debauchery at elite preparatory schools, so I saw little utility for me in the site. But after a chat with a friend the other day I decided to at least take a peek. And when I jump into something, I jump all the way in; I now have something like forty ‘Friends’ on the site, many of them fellows from college/seminary that I have not had any contact with in years. Combine this with my activity on the more professionally-oriented LinkedIn, and you can see that I am suddenly a networking whirlwind.
But as exciting as all this is, what good is it actually doing me, or anyone? Is my life getting better? Well, if I can sustain my initial excitement past the inevitable diminution in energy, I think I can answer yes to the second question, at least in a qualified manner. I am going to be thirty years old in a couple of months, and if I can find in these online tools both the inspiration to communicate regularly with a wide range of folks and support me in maintaining these increased correspondence patterns. And I’m thinking that can hardly be a bad thing.