We all know not to pick up strangers who are walking along the road, but does this rule apply when it comes to people you meet through social media?  We have all heard social media experts say social media helps people and companies build relationships. If you ask Twitter guru Scott Stratten (@unmarketing), twitter is about building relationships and having conversations.

As I was working this afternoon I noticed a tweet come across my feed.

Without even thinking about it, I replied back.

I understand that this situation might look a little strange at first glance.  Business owner seeks to pitch a popular writer.  Yes, I get it.  In my defense, I don’t roll that way!  When I walk out the door I’m not Leif Martinez, Owner of Jigsaw Social Media.  I’m just a regular guy (I consider myself a geek) who has a passion for technology and who enjoys socializing with other geeks who share my interests.

As I pulled up to the designated location at which I was to pick up Alexia, you might think that I felt a little awkward due to the situation, but I did not.  Here is why:

  1. Alexia Tsotsis is a writer for the popular technology blog TechCrunch, and I’m familiar with her work.  I read it to feed my daily geekiness.
  2. I’ve seen her on video podcasts (Twit.TV) and during other tech interviews.
  3. I follow her on Twitter.

Following someone on Twitter or through other social network is an act that allows the real magic to happen.  Social networks allow us to become transparent and to share our daily lives with strangers. Because I follow Alexia on Twitter, I had enough information to conclude that she would be a fun and interesting person with whom to share a drive in traffic.  After all, it can take some time to get through the traffic in L.A.

From the moment we got on the road, our shared background in the tech space laid the foundation for our conversation.  One minute Alexia was introducing me to Ligers,  and the next minute we were discussing where tweets go when they disappear from the Twitter timeline.  I didn’t know it at the time, but she tweeted the question out to her 34,000 plus followers.

Seconds later she began laughing hysterically.  I asked her what happened and she flashed me her phone.  She shared the numerous funny responses she was getting back from her followers.

At that moment, I got to witness firsthand how powerful a social network reach can be, even when one asks a silly question that calls for comical answers.

When I woke up this morning, I had no idea that I would end up taking Alexia to the airport.  I can honestly say that I would never have considered the idea had I not been exposed to her tweets.  Mom, I hope you are not reading this blog post.  Today I took a stranger to the airport and I had fun doing so!  I know you would not be thrilled with the idea of me picking up stranger, but is it okay if they are on my “friends” lists or “followers”?

My experience was quite fascinating, and it was well worth the drive home in L.A. traffic!  I can only think of a few things missing from the conversation today:  a chair, a table, drinks, and more time.

Today’s experience certainly brings up an interesting question.  Has social media extended our social boundaries?  Would you give a social media friend a lift to the airport?  You know my answer!  Leave a comment below and let me know your take on this.

 

About the Author: Leif E. Martinez

Named after Leif Ericson, Leif is the Founder and CEO of Jigsaw Social Media based out of Los Angeles, Ca. Leif has over ten years experience working in the IT industry and consulting. He brings his passion for technology and working with businesses to JSM. When he’s not discovering the latest social media tools and working on social media strategies, he can be found snowboarding in Mammoth, surfing in the Pacific or on the motocross track.