Social media connects us.
And, in some cases, reconnects us.
This story comes from my friend, Debi Davis. Debi is in Colorado, I’m in Washington. I despise talking on the phone. I prefer face-to-face. Maybe that’s why I like Google+. When your friend is in Colorado and you’re in Washington, you talk via Google+ Hangouts (video).
We were discussing work when she mentioned something off-hand that opened my eyes even more to the power of social media. Here is Debi’s story, in her own words (used with her permission):
[tweet https://twitter.com/DebDrive/status/485873753000136704 align=’center’]
I was passively watching coverage of Day 2 of the Tour de France — i.e., checking my Google Plus notifications with the TV on in the background. When I heard the name “Alex Howes” coming from television my attention was quickly diverted fully to the dark haired boy wearing black-rimmed glasses who was being interviewed on camera. All I caught was something about calories required to sustain bike racers. In less than 30 seconds, the interview was over. The name – Alex Howes – was still ringing in my ears.
“It can’t be. Can it? Is that THE Alex Howes from Colorado?” The only Alex Howes I know is the son of the first friend I made when I moved to Colorado 30 years ago. I started doing the math. Yes, the bike racer on the interview would be about the same age as the Alex Howes I know. A quick Google search provided more proof that Alex Howes, the little boy I hadn’t seen since he was in diapers, was probably the young man who was now racing for the U.S. Garmin-Sharp bike team in the Tourde France! The fact that Boulder, CO is his home base, and that he was born on January 1, 1988, was substantial evidence. Excited that I knew the parents of a bike racing celebrity, I sent this tweet:
[tweet http://twitter.com/DebDrive/status/485873871191416833 align=’center’]
and this one:
I was giddy at the thought of how proud Alex’s parents, Joel and Star, must be to see Alex take bike racing to this level. You see, Joel and I met at a bike race. I was supporting another racer, and we were parked next to each other and unloading gear for a local amateur race. We discovered that we lived near each other. Over the next several years we became good friends, and took many bike rides together. In fact, I was one of two people at their private wedding ceremony. I also remember the day I held their newborn son, Alex.
Life events took me off in another direction, and I lost touch with the Howes family. Alex must have forwarded my tweets to his parents, though, because a few days later Joel contacted me on LinkedIn (apparently, he doesn’t use Twitter himself). We will be getting together for coffee in the next couple weeks. I’m going to get to hear about the Tour de France from the parents who raised and trained a bike racer capable of riding competitively in an international 21-stage race over the course of 23 days, covering a total of 3,664 kilometers.
I couldn’t be more proud.
One brief mention on the television. A name. Triggering a memory.
How does Debi attempt to reconnect with that “memory”? Through the power of social media.
I can’t wait to hear the rest of the story. Thank you for sharing it with me, Debi.
Oh, and one more thing: GO ALEX!