As social media goes, it took me a while to get the ‘hang’ of twitter. I ‘stopped and started’ a few times on the platform until I found a couple of friends who ‘adopted’ me. They treated me kindly, gave me space, and let me learn, make mistakes as I tried to ‘figure it out’. After a few months of being ‘active’ on twitter, talking to a couple of folks about the lack of a ‘group chat’ which engaged in discussion of spiritual matters, I decided to start #SpiritChat.
It has been a terrific three months. And some of the folks that attend the Sunday group chats, and tweet with the #SpiritChat tag through the week, have become great friends. We converse about spiritual matters and more, see each other in chats hosted by common friends, and learn little details about each other every day. Some friendships have gone beyond twitter into other social media like Facebook, to email, to voice conversations on the phone and other means of communication.
It wasn’t until I was in the middle of an overseas trip to India ~ visiting the land of my birth and the land where most of my family still resides, that I realized that some of the folks on twitter are slowly rising to ‘family-like’ status. They are influencing me with their words, their thoughts, and their acts of kindness. Some days, I have meaningful conversations with some of them almost as much, if not more, than with some of my offline friends and family.
So, as I sat around a table full of my immediate family, and just my immediate family, on Thursday evening (India time), it struck me that it had been many years since all of us had been together like that. Yes, a couple of key members were missing, but this was as close as it got to a Thanksgiving meal ~ albeit, celebrated a week early 🙂 There was great conversation, laughter, and food for memories, which will sustain my spirit for a while.
I woke up with these questions ~ what makes my ‘blood’ family (who I don’t see but once a year) different from my ‘online’ family, in terms of ‘level of communication’? Are they really that much different, particularly in the realm of providing ‘food for my spirit’? How can an online relationship, which starts with the seed of a conversation, grow into a ‘family-like’ relationship? What factors are necessary for this to happen? How big is your twitter ‘family’? Is it possible to ‘celebrate’ with online families in the same way as we celebrate with ‘real-world’ families?
I invite you to join my guest-hosts @JoanneCipressi and @MartinaMcGowan (yes, they have joined my twitter ‘family’ category :)) to discuss the ‘Spirit of Family’ at 9am ET/2pm GMT on Sunday, 20th November.
Love well. Live well. Be well. Be with family!
P.S. Please leave a comment about the “Spirit of Family” if you cannot join us at the appointed hour. We would love to hear from you. Thank you.