Birthday

Battle Buddy

I had my 79th birthday yesterday.  My wife and oldest son were out of town so I thought it might be a bit of a boring birthday, but it ended up being a pretty good day.  Whenever I was near my iphone, ipad, or computer, I received emails, facebook updates, and text messages from people who I am mostly fond of, wishing me a happy birthday, and wondering how I was doing.  People who I know for a variety of different reasons who have touched my life at some time in the history of my life actually knew it was my birthday.  Even my brother, Mike, who I hadn’t talked to in a long time, sent me a message.  I ended up calling him and we had a terrific talk.  I connected to a guy I went to basic training with nineteen years ago, who was the biggest thing I remember about that time in my life.  We became close friends during that short time and somehow lost touch.  It was so cool to see his facebook and what he was up to.  It was kind of nice to know they and others were thinking about me on what was my favorite day of the year when I was younger.

Two years ago, because people were just figuring out facebook, or the birthday feature wasn’t as pushy as it is now, no one would have even known it was my birthday, which was fine with me and I could celebrate my birthday alone and in peace. I have always been a bit of an isolator, I just have never been very good at connecting to people, so I thought.  I think it is the small bit of Aspergerishness I believe I possess that made (makes) connecting to others so difficult for me.  I think social media has helped changed that for me, is helping change that for me.  Before I went to bed, I went through my list of birthday wishes, and responded to each, stopping and reminiscing about how they had touched my life or how I had touched theirs.  It made me feel good inside.

Social media to me, is more than just facebook.  It is Jokaydiagrid, WoW, Minecraft, and Second life.  It is Twitter, Gtalk, and Skype.  It is my blog, Twitter, and Plurk.  (Anal retentive person, I said twitter twice on purpose).  It is my ipad, my computers, and my iphone.  And yes, it is also Facebook.  All these things have helped me be a better connector to people.   These things all allow me to share with others who I am in special and different ways, which is something I have always struggled with.  It has also allowed others to share with me, who they are in special and different ways.  To me, social media is all about connectivism.  I know that there can be some negative aspects to social media, but I believe that  Social media has made me a better person by allowing me to overcome my fear and inability to connect to others.

On a personal note, seeing some of my old friends facebook pages, made me think about how I use to spend time floating down the Missouri river on inner tubes and small rafts.  So that is what my youngest son and I spent a part of the afternoon of my birthday doing, swimming and floating in the Mighty Missouri, right where I use to when I was his age.  We finished the day off with a delicious Howard’s Pizza.

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