Tweetup: n. An organized or impromptu gathering of people that use Twitter. (A meet up of people that ‘tweet’ using Twitter.) “Are you going to the “tweetup” tonight?”
That is the UrbanDictionary.com #1 definition of “tweetup.” When people who chillax on Twitter decide they want to be “real life” friends, they have a tweetup. I, personally, have a ton of really great friends from Twitter, many of which I’d had the distinct pleasure of meeting. A few of them frequent a community called #Agvodate, where folks chat weekly about rural dating. Until recently, I had met all of my #Agvodate friends through other occasions. I met Drew at the 2010 AgChat Foundation conference. I met Rosie, Marie and Ryan at the 2011 AgChat conference, and Jesse made an appearance in Nashville before the conference began. A few weeks ago, I met my friend Aaron for supper and a movie (The Muppets) halfway between our hometowns.
Up until Aaron, I had never met any of my #Agvodate friends just because of #Agvodate. This kind of opened a can of worms for me; I’m addicted to spending in-person time with social media friends. In many ways, these people click with me on a level that I hadn’t found often in my suburban college setting. We can find people across vast geographical differences that fit our personalities, interests, and ideologies.
I’ve found I love bridging those geographical differences. And so do my #Agvodate friends. So, we decided to try and plan a “tweetup.” It started with Joe mentioning that a round-trip ticket to Chicago was financially viable. It snowballed from there, and shortly thereafter, we had a group of about six people saying they were interested in coming.
Throughout planning, the folks began dropping out because of various problems. Money, timing, prior obligation…either way, in the end, it was down to Joe and I.
We committed to have as much fun as we possibly could, despite it being a significantly smaller group than planned.
We were too busy having a blast to take that many pictures. The truly fun times were when we didn’t think to snap photos.
Aaron ended up meeting us last-minute for the first night, and the three of us had a great time. During the two-night adventure, we ice skated, we walked and drove all over the downtown area, we took the subway, we use smart phones to track down a piano bar, we sang, we laughed, we ate Chicago-style deep dish pizza, and we talked. We talked a lot.
I think this little endeavor has, at least for me, opened the door even further to future travel plans including many of my #Agvodate friends. I’ve been fortunate enough to know, in person, many of my wonderful friends, peers, mentors, and pals from Twitter. (I should state that I’ve met countless more from the #AgChat and #KACF (Know a California Farmer) communities, as well.) The thing is, each time some event like this ends, I’m struck with the desire to turn around and plan the next one. At the end of each AgChat Conference, I’m already thinking ahead to who may be at the conference the next year.
As I look forward to a career that will probably be full of travel, adventures, and lots of agricultural events, I also look forward to the chance to meet more of these friends face-to-face.
Besides…a few of the #AgChat girls want to have a “Twitter Pal Cruise.” I haven’t had good sunshine since I left California…that sounds like a fantastic idea to me!