Technology is slowly chipping away at my protective shell. Being the social creature I am, I am discovering the beauty of socializing online. I am beginning to make online connections and use the internet as a convenient way to continue to other relationships that began offline.
Let’s start with Andre DeKoker. We met in China in 2008, working together at SIS. I hold Andre responsible for my participation in this course. The two of us have been through a lot together during are short friendship. Despite having lived on two different continents for the past couple of years, Andre is a great source of support, and I admit that my COETAIL questions are directed at Andre first. I feel free to sound stupid and use him as a sounding board. The internet has allowed us to continue our friendship and maintain a collaborative spirit.
And then there are my new connections through COETAIL. Sure, I had other meet and greets on the internet previous to my COETAIL experience, but this course has allowed me to expand my network of online contacts. The most exciting part has been meeting these online contacts in real life. I went to a yoga class on the shores of Inya Lake in Yangon. In between downward facing dog and a couple of sun salutations, I looked over to see Kate, my fellow COETAILer. I also ran into Kate in the Yangon airport and convinced her to embrace the duty free whiskey in preparation for our flight to EARCOS. Photo coming soon!
While at EARCOS I finally met Jeff Utecht, who gave me some great running advice. Sure, we could be talking about technology, but we were able to connect about long distance running. And, I finally found a great long distance run in BKK.
There are countless other connections I have made just from COETAIL alone (like the woman I met in the bathroom who presented at the conference on her final project). In the end, I realize that the online world and real life are starting to blur and compliment each other.
The connections are what really matters in both worlds.