Is our culture is moving towards making connections that are deeply rooted in the physical world around us using technology? I certainly think so. For me text just isn’t enough anymore; I crave the complexity of human interactions and the thrill and challenge that comes with meeting new people.
Today I had a moment of serendipity that thrilled me. I was reading this post and decided that I should email the author with some questions and thoughts. I clicked through his contact page but there was no email address; instead there was a link to Skype. I’m not a huge Skype user (although after this experience I don’t know why) but I figured: he posted the info, so I might as well start a chat.
Turns out Stuart Henshall is one of the founders of Phweet and in our twenty-minute-ish conversation he downloaded Whrrl (I asked if he had feedback for us) and gave me a walk through of the Phweet service. Phweet makes it easy to connect and talk, for free, without even revealling your phone number – using Twitter usernames as your credentials. Stuart told me that it should be able to support a very large number of users. I can’t wait! Think of what this means for coordinating tweetups, or even just providing customer service.
In the course of just twenty minutes I used two technologies; one that I wasn’t that familiar with and another that was brand new, and out of it I got a real human being on the other end of the line (and over a thousand miles away) and had an interesting and friendly conversation with a complete stranger. And to top it off – I felt completely safe! I’m going to try this out, I wonder what will happen if I get out of my comfort zone to contact more of the people who I usually just read passively. What is to stop any of us from connecting with people who interest, inspire, or even infuriate us?