There's something about coming up with a blog post on a Friday evening that......well it gets tough to decide what to focus on. The list of things to pontificate on after a week of school gets tough to narrow down. So I will make it easy on myself and share my thoughts on one of the many times that words have dribbled out of my mouth (or in this case off my fingertips) that made me later say, "Ooops....that's not quite what I meant."
Recently I made a twitter comment to a few of the members of my PLN that I couldn't wait to meet them "for real." Then I had one of my Tweeps send me a tweet back that said, "Thanks Tom. Look forward to meeting you "for real" at #SLATE2012 ." And I started to wonder, "did I offend any of my friends by making the statement that somehow our online relationship wasn't real?"
I am hoping not. These new friends I have made are some of the most important friends of my life. No, we didn't grow up together. We don't share memories from the playgrounds we ruled as 6 and 7 year old kids. We didn't go through the painful relationship phase as mixed up hormonal middle schoolers. But some of the friends I have made via Twitter may be responsible for more professional and personal growth than most of my childhood friends could ever claim. While the years of experiences definitely vary, the bond that I have created with the sharing of learning, experience and common concern, has made a deep impact on me and I and I value them more than many people would even understand.
So, as I sit here on the couch on a Friday night, watching my twitter feed roll by, taping up boxes for my families move into a new home, and keeping half an ear on one of my favorite movie, "The Book of Eli" while the other ear and a half stays free for my wife and kids, I think, did your lack of wisely chosen words once again create a rift? I'm hoping not. I'm hoping that the close friends of my PLN, are like me.....excited to meet face to face, a new kind of close friend. A friendship that was fostered by the desire to learn from each other. While the majority of our conversations are limited to 140 characters, they are meaningful and important conversations, they are jokes, they are personal, they are filled with hope, excitement, and wishes. And still I look forward to meeting them all face to face, so we can share extended conversations, share even more jokes, and put those incredible minds together in a live, unlimited organic conversation that may go in unknown, unplanned directions.....and then again, maybe it will just be filled with wisecracks, jokes and pokes as we get the chance to relax with friends and unwind from a job that is truly 24/7/365 and under more public scrutiny than politicians. Yeah, while I have made some really excellent friends, I can't wait to meet them "for real."