He walked into the kitchen as I stood alone leaning against the kitchen sink, phone in hand.
Sliding up next to me he asked: “What are you doing?”
“Just quickly checking Twitter.” I replied, half expecting to explain to my father in law what twitter was. Instead he just responded “Oh, do you like doing that?”
My father in law is one of the most giving, free spirited, adventurous people I know. He recently became a middle school teacher, I’m pretty sure we have this to thank for his indoctrinate into the world of social media.
I began to tell him about how I didn’t honestly remember what I did before Twitter. How some of the friends I have made have become some of the best friends I’ve ever had.
I was prepared to hear him tell me about how we are “too connected” or how this method of communication was “ineffective for today’s youth,” how it steers us away from real conversations face-to-face.
Instead he opened up and told me how much he loved texting. As the father of 6, the youngest of who just turned 16. Sometimes sending a text message is the only communication he has with his children for days. He was recently on a three day trip and spent some of the time texting and joking back and forth with his 19 year old son.
“I would never have been able to have those moments of laughing and joking without being connected with him. We just wouldn’t have talked for 3 days,” He told me. “It’s instant communication”
I just smiled and nodded. I knew EXACTLY what he meant.
Some of these people I have conversed with day after day (multiple times a day) are like family. Minutes after meeting for the first time this weekend, we were all at complete ease. We talked about things you would only talk about with once you’ve gotten past that awkward phase with a new friend. We weren’t new friends.
We were with each other and our children’s births, we held hands through the sad times of our lives, we laughed about the funny things our kids have done, we clapped when our children learned how to walk, we cried when we were suffering, and we rallied during depression and addiction.
We immediately talked about bathroom habits, birthing styles, sex lives, and spanx.
During the conference I overheard a conversation about how somebody said twitter was instant communication. When it slow on Saturday and their baby has a diaper rash, they need an answer NOW! Even though they know they could easily go to google for the answer. They want it from their family, and their friends.
We were a family. We are a family.
I told him about the relationships I’ve developed. How we wouldn’t even know Allison and Dan without Twitter. I wouldn’t know lots of my friends without it.. I’m thankful for it.
And the relationships I have because of it.