Tuesday, February 02, 2010

A Baby Born on Twitter!?

Tomorrow Holly and I (and Marty, perhaps) are going to meet Mr. Van Stranahan, a little baby of our familial acquaintance. And we'll meet his brother Shane who's moved here from California (and we've already met his brother Jack and his sister Olivia).

So in preparation for the visit, I was looking at some notes about the birth, because I want to be all suave and not ask doofy questions when I go to visit. I like to study up a bit, y'know. And I found this really excellent article by Lee the dad:
My Son Was Born On Twitter

At exactly 1:37 AM on January 13, I sent the following Tweet from my iPod—"Baby!"

At that moment, I was sitting next to my wife Lauren. She was in the bathtub. Lauren had just reached under herself and pulled our son Van up out of the water and into the world.

Our new son was born in the age of social media. Within an hour of Van being born, I'd posted pictures on Flickr, posted the links to those pictures on Twitter, the originals on Facebook, and then e-mailed copies to our families in faraway places....

The rest of it's here, and it has links to the actual mentions (the photos on Flickr, f'rinstance), which is in itself awesome.

The article talks about the benefits of the internet in allowing people to get quick information, and that's certainly been true of the Always Learning list lately. LOTS of information, flowing among continents. I've had friends of mine who aren't involved in unschooling say how nice, that I'm helping people in other states. Yeah. Thanks. And Canada, Europe, India, New Zealand, Australia... I got a Christmas card from an unschooling family in China. But it's hard to bring that up in casual conversation with old friends.

As much as I love things like my two weekly unschooling chats, I was moved and transported by the symposium in Santa Fe in early January (SUSS), which can hardly be summarized. People who knew each other variously, but online because of unschooling discussions, came together and spent time, and ate, and sat near fireplaces, and played games, and shared stories of our lives and hobbies. Then we went back home and got on the chats, and befriended each other on Facebook (those who hadn't already), and the quality of the discussions on the Always Learning list went up as a result among other results. And Kirby got to see his girlfriend—a girlfriend he has (indirectly) because of the internet and other unschooling conferences.

Kirby's photos from SUSS

I'm glad to be able to frolic in these not-so-virtual neighborhoods, which phase in and out of my house and my life and keep my family together even when we're apart. Twitter keeps me from worrying about Holly. Facebook reminds me how cool Marty is. Kirby's iPhone is a marvel.

Although I'm in an at-home phase of the neighborhood reality, tomorrow I'll be in person, face-to-face (IRL) with a new baby whose parents met me because of the internet. In August I'll speak at the HSC conference in Sacramento, and Kirby will be there too! I'll meet some more people there who will already know me, because they can read things I write whenever they're in the mood.

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