Want more friends?
How about 22,000 of them? I know many what a lot of people will say – how can you have 22,000 girlfriends? How can you communicate, connect and be a friend to them? Well, you can and I have a great story on how to use the power of Twitter to be a friend.
First, if any of you don’t know, Twitter is a ‘microblogging’ site where you can follow others and write/read comments that are 140 characters or less long. For example, I follow almost exclusively women (and a few guys who I want to keep aware of the Girlfriendology community – potential clients/advertisers and influencers. Note for guys – I will follow you on my personal Twitter account). So I have 22,000+ followers right now (updated May 2011). And, if you’d like to try it – follow me: Girlfriendology!
Now, I also know you might think “I don’t have time for that“* – I’ve heard that excuse as recent as this morning from my walking girlfriend’s husband. I remember saying “I’d never need a cell phone. If people want to reach me they can just call me at home.” Yep, I have a cell phone and don’t go anywhere without it. Twitter can take up a lot of time or a little time, you get to manage it however you’d like. You can follow a few people or a few thousand people – again, like the cell phone, your call.
There’s no nice way to say this. My very good girlfriend’s husband just found out that he is dying. It’s incredibly sad and I will do anything to help her through this painful, tragic situation. She’s devastated, as we all would be, but also wants to make the best of their time together – and that plan includes a trip to Italy, something from their ‘bucket list‘. The problem is – they have little time and no passports. And, she has a cousin in Sicily and she knows his email but he only speaks/writes in Italian and she wants to communicate with him to arrange her plans.
After meeting her for our weekly coffee date, where we laughed, cried and talked candidly, I decided to utilize my Twitter connections to see if I could help her. In one ‘tweet’ (that is what a Twitter message is called) I posted (to my 5500+ followers) that “my girlfriend with sick DH (aka: Dear Husband) needs help expediting a passport and getting Italian translated for upcoming trip.”
Now the nature of Twitter is sharing. And, in that community, we often RT (re-tweet – which means we send on each other’s messages to our followers/friends) and people did re-tweet my message. So the message that I sent to 22,000+ may have been sent along to another several thousand people who are in this growing Twitter community. Within 30 minutes a ‘girlfriend’ I’ve never met, and probably never will, responded with a passport connection and gave her name as a reference to get into the system quickly. Instantly my girlfriend has an ‘in’ where she needs it.
Then, last evening, after more RT’s, I was contacted by a guy who conducts travel in Europe for Catholic sojourns. He volunteered to assist my girlfriend with her Italian translation.
In a 140 characters or less, my girlfriend’s needs went around the world and came back with friends who offered their help. That, my friend, blew me away. That is the power of friends. And that is the power of Twitter.
THANKS SO MUCH to those who RT’d the message and especially to the two who responded. You have eased her mind and made her ‘Bucket List’ trip become a real possibility instead of a stressful, helpless situation – she has enough of that right now. I can’t thank you enough.
And, I have to add this, to my walking friend’s husband who then questioned how I don’t know that these Twitter friends might be trying to scam my friend, I had to reply, “You don’t know this community. You don’t know my friends and my friend’s friends. And, you don’t understand the power of Twitter and girlfriends (and guyfriends). And that’s fine – if that’s how you want to live.”
But I LOVE my Twitter friends.
They inspire me, amuse me, share information and concern. They reach out for my help and graciously allow me to do the same. Sure, somewhere in the millions of people on Twitter and Facebook and other social media communities, there may be those who are in it for the wrong reason. But we have each other’s backs. If someone does something wrong or misuses the community, we share that info and we can selectively block or delete them. I’d much rather look for the good in people (and social media communities) than try to focus on the rare exclusions to that. Just my nature. Thankfully.
I’m in the company of amazing, wonderful, generous and kind people with Twitter. And I think this girlfriend story is just one more (of millions of similar stories) that prove this. Thanks Twitter! And thanks Twitter friends! All 5500+ of you – thanks for spreading the word and for caring. And know I’ll do the same. That’s the power of Twitter. That’s the power of girlfriends!
p.s. Yes, Twitter girlfriends who have asked. I will keep you updated on my girlfriend and really appreciate your tweets saying your thoughts and prayers are with her. Thanks so much. She and her husband both read this blog and were very appreciative that people offered to help and care. Do keep them both in your prayers. They’d appreciate that too.
* And for those of you who think you ‘don’t have time for Twitter,’ that’s okay. But to be honest with you, your competitors probably have time for it. And I know your clients make time for it. And, the next time you or a friend are looking for a job, just keep in mind that people are making connections and finding jobs through social media (Girlfriend Amybeth found a job in a week due to her social media skills). Make time for your friends. And, if you’re interested in connecting and networking, you might want to try making time for Twitter too.
P.S. Another May 2011 update, today I’m writing on Friendsourcing which is exactly what this is – asking my Twitter / Facebook friends for their insights, connections and helpful advice. Aren’t you glad you have friends nearby to ask for their help? I know I am! Thanks girlfriends!
Who do you look to for your ‘friendsourcing?’ What friends give you wise advice and help you with connections and ideas? (Have you thanked them lately?!)