The twitter craze took a while to convert me but 3 months ago when i finally did get an account I had three things in mind: keeping tabs on the online content and trends that interested me, channeling my own creativity into this latest medium and finally but most importantly, I signed up to connect to and with people. I figured it’d be a networking tool at best. But, as it turns out the decision to sign up was most rewarded this past Saturday when I got to spend the day with Karen Ford and her family in their hometown of St-John’s Newfoundland. I signed up back in May and Karen was one of my first followers. Her tweets are as genuine as she is and perfectly reflect her personality, interests, her family, her life and her work. She reached out to me early on about my work as an actress but we soon were tweeting about everything and commenting here and there about our lives and essentially happily keeping twitter tabs on one another. Twitter is powerful in its ability to do that, to create a kind of textual tab trail for users to intuitively browse and get to know one another and share information through…but the glaring fact remains: you don’t really know someone until you’ve actually looked into their eyes, heard their voice and felt their presence. I’d say that the ‘animal’ in us inherently needs to ‘feel’ another person that way and until that happens one never really knows another fellow human being. I had a feeling Karen was part of my ‘tribe’…but I really couldn’t tell for sure until we met.
When I booked this wonderful part on CBC’s Republic of Doyle (which has been an incredible experience to work on so far) and tweeted about it roughly two weeks ago now, Karen immediately replied ecstatically that I was coming to work in her hometown! Could we meet up? Would that be possible? Would my schedule allow it? It was so strange to tweet back immediately without a shadow of a doubt that yes, of course I’d want to meet with her! Strange because Karen technically only ‘appeared’ in my world about 3 months ago and how could this instinct to meet her therefore be so instantly steadfast? I knew all about her two kids, Brett and Denise and her husband Paul and her work as an online blogger but again, I knew the details but not the real essence and content of her life. How could my heart so naturally leap with hers at the chance to meet her? We couldn’t really know each other then? My answer to that now is that somehow her tweets, her genuine way of sharing, of opening that window onto her life and her family just melted away any kind of doubt or hesitation on my end. There seemed to be truth in everything she put out into the twittersphere and the ‘animal’ in me instinctively ‘perked up it’s ears and danced a little’ at the thought of actually meeting her. So I went with it…
And so off we went this past Saturday, up and down the hills and ocean side cliffs of Saint-John’s Newfoundland piled altogether into Karen and Paul’s Pick Up Truck. I’ll let her recount the moment we first laid eyes on one another and the rest of our day together in her own words because she really does tell our adventure best here in her blog.
Her family was the perfect jolly group of ambassadors for this beautiful and friendly part of Canada and I am so grateful to them, to 8 year old Denise for the adorable way she kept tapping me on the arm and launching into ‘Guess What Meela?!…’ (she couldn’t pronounce my name not that anyone really can anyway!), to Brett for his gentle songs in the car and perfect word for word recap of Finding Nemo, A Shark’s Tale and for letting me hug him when we said goodbye, to Paul for telling me all about the whales turning and barelling into the coves when mating season comes every summer and finally, to Karen, for climbing up that tree with me, for being so genuinely kind, inviting me into her twitterverse and then her life and in turn following me into mine.
As a result, my thoughts now dwell on the incredible power of twitter, not just as a networking or promotional tool, but as a bridge between my life and Karen’s…How quickly that bridge sprang forth between us and how happily and naturally we crossed it. In the end I believe the same social laws apply on Twitter as they do anywhere else. If you intentionally set out to truly connect with others, each tweet, no matter how short, does in fact have the potential to carry with it a bit of who you are towards another kindred spirit.
And here’s a song for you Karen, for the home you and Paul have built. It’s by a great soulful singer called Patrick Watson I listen to all the time.