In my younger days, whenever I attended a camp with some new people, a home street address was probably the only means of staying in contact. When we shook hands and say goodbye, there’s this real conviction that you might really never see the person again.
Thankfully, things have changed since then. Working in different countries, I meet new people all the time and whenever the time is up, there’s no hint of when I would ever bump into them. Except that I no longer prefer “goodbye” to bid farewell; “see you later” is a more apt choice.
Online tools makes it easier and easier for us to stay connected. If you have read the previous post, the continuation of the story was that Shamir (my ex-housemate), met up with Pearl (our ex-neighbour in Philadelphia who relocated to Singapore) for dinner. If Pearl finding me on LinkedIn wasn’t serendipitous enough, discovering that Shamir’s workplace was just diagonally across Pearl’s building added more the the list of bizarre coincidences.
My point is, with the new digital age, we never really have to say goodbye. If a relationship is valuable, there’s definitely opportunity to reconnect – somehow. After all, as with all good friends, you know it’s a matter of time before you say “Hello” again.
I am sure you have heard those stories of how people were so close yet so far, romantic stories of how guy and girl meet each other in the streets, longing to see each other again but didn’t know they were actually staying in the same apartment block. Stories of how long-lost friends never realizing that they were working in the same office block, always missing each other by mere seconds….
Surely with the invention of Facebook or something closer to home like Wholivesnearyou.com would have killed stories of serendipity like that. Well, I guess i was wrong. Recently, I received a message on LinkedIn from my ex-neighbour in Philadelphia. Truth be told, LinkedIn was the last place on earth I would expect to be contacted by a long-lost friend.
What’s even more interesting is, she has relocated to Singapore and has been working here for the past 8 months! She found me because one of my ex-housemates added her on LinkedIn. Sure, Singapore is a considerably small country, but had my (ex)-neighbor not found me on LinkedIn, it’s still highly possible that I may never bump into her by chance for the next 30 years.
Online social networking has really changed the way to trace back old friends, often in pretty dramatic ways. Guess that’s why we’re still in business 🙂
anyone finds this movie familiar?
Have you ever wondered what your life, interests, career or hobbies might become if the PC / Internet doesn’t exists? This is probably how a typical day in the alternate universe would look like.
I would probably be working in a garage for 3 reasons. Firstly, it still allows me to meeting and interact with new people. It’s innate in me. Secondly, it satisfies my strange creature in me that’s obsessed with optimization. When customers drive away satisfied, I feel like my obsession has benefited someone else’s day. Thirdly, vehicles have always fascinated me. As someone who gets bored easily the garage allows me to be promiscuous without the moral guilt (fidelity in question refers to the car, in case you’re wondering).
The night would probably find me at the local ice skating ring, where I teach the evening skating lessons (hey surely you didn’t think I am paid that well in a garage, did you?). Again, its an interesting job because again you see all sorts of people here. The aspiring figure skater, the hot-dogging punk, the bored mistress….. I guess I also can’t complain about the cute female instructor beside me. It’s always heartwarming when I see her with her 3 seven-year-old aspiring ballerinas-on-ice. Aside from the cooler temperature, gliding across the ice gives me an immense satisfaction that I can’t explain in words.
Weekend nights would probably be spent playing music with my buddies in a local pub. While we would be playing the classics, we’d probably still enjoy hammering our own compositions.
It’s interesting because while the pace of life might be slower, things that excite me will still be the same – vehicles, music, sports and people. Wonder how yours would look like.
Oh yeah, did I mention I would still be riding the bike?
I can imagine myself tuning cars all day
It’s interesting sometimes the kinda turns we take in life. I started my own .com in 1998, believing that the Internet is the thing for me. And then came the .com bubble burst, where I dust myself and took a 9-year detour on academia.
Well the thing is, you can lie to the whole world but you can’t lie to yourself. During the 9 years, I found myself more interested in the Internet development news than what’s going on in the Academia world. PC Mag was preferred over Nature (if you don’t know what this is, its ok 🙂 ). Until finally I took a deep breath, decided what I can’t deny my passion any longer, and jumped back to the Internet scene once again.
Almost a decade later, I find the Internet has evolved quite a bit. Yes, I do think that there’s a fair amount of catching up to do. But I’ve learnt my lesson – when it comes to passion, you can never be too late.
Instead of trying to push back the clock, looking to the future might be more productive