Social Networking at the Playground

A funny thing happened at the playground…

…a group of us planned a playground tweetup. A few months ago I would have laughed at the thought of establishing a connection with someone online to the point where I would meet in person. A get-together would have seemed unsafe. Not today though.

About a month or so ago I saw a tweet from @twincident about an upcoming gathering of local moms on twitter. I put myself out there and send her a tweet inviting myself to the tweetup. @twincident was very gracious and included me. I met her and @JessicaKnows at a local coffee shop — broad daylight, look for the mom with the pink laptop case. No red carnation in the lapel in 2009.

I learned so much from both moms — blogging conferences, how to make connections, Poken. On the drive home my head was a-spinning with all the new terms and ideas. I was more determined than ever to keep on pursuing a career in writing/blogging/social networking.

But back to today, I arrived at the playground at the appointed tweetup time. I immediately realized that I was without kids — one of the pluses of having a teacher for a husband is that he is home for Spring Break. This morning two children were adamant that they wanted to stay home with Coach Dad while the oldest was dead to the world — the teenage slumberella. So, as I walked on the playground I felt conspicuous to be without kids. I got a glance or two, but I suppose I just looked like a mom waiting for a friend. I quickly struck up a conversation with another mom and mentioned that I was waiting for @resourcefulmom — of course I used her IRL name. I didn’t want to appear even more out-of-place. The mom I was speaking to knew her.

@resourcefulmom arrived with her two adorable kids. We chatted in the wind and cold — hello, Springtime in D.C. — for an hour or so. Once again I learned much from our conversation. Perhaps I even shared something that was helpful to her…you never know.

So, what about other social networking… I love FaceBook. Found a few relatives and college and work friends. All good. To find more people, I used the e-mail finder.

I friend people I have worked with, gone to school with, know IRL, and have met online. Yes, I now consider some of the people friends. I tell you it’s becoming a really small world out there.

I do have one group of people I won’t friend — the friends of my children. I have no desire to read about what a kid is doing. So far I have said “No” to my daughter’s requests for a FaceBook page.

As a Mom Advocate for, I have been able to give her a safe place to play online. If you have kids who are 9 through 18 consider signing them up at

So FaceBook I get, but what about LinkedIn… Since I am not “officially” working for a company LinkedIn does not seem to help me one way or another. Still I have friended people I’ve met here and there. I did get a warning message on LinkedIn that I had had several people not accept my invitation requests. As such if it happened again I was going on the LinkedIn detention list — I would need to have an e-mail address in order to friend. I have no clue who I friended who said no to me. Weird!

I suspect that this would happen less if everyone had a Snuggie or a Bumpit. Less conflict in the world. Of course because the Snuggie is so bulky it would make fighting difficult. Too much tripping.

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