My connected world
Now, I have friends and acquaintances from all over the world, and find it very interesting speaking to them about their different cultures, customs and upbringings, and even the weather.
I grew up in country Queensland, Australia. I had what would be considered a very stable childhood, my parents were married my entire childhood, and I basically did my entire schooling with one group of people, many whom I am still in touch with now through Social Media. I currently interact with someone from my primary or high school at least once a week.
I think the seeds of this idea began about 5 years ago, when I launched http://Peepel.com (which was an on-line office product, I have now re-purposed the brand to this blog) and was contacted by +Svetlana from the blog http://proxy.com, requesting an interview with me. I agreed and we connected over Skype had a long conversation over Skype, over the next few years we kept in touch as we released new features and over time we became friends and now have regular chats. To me in many ways my friendship with +Svetlana symbolises to me much about this current openness of the world, the fact that as a child I had real fears that 'the Russians will nuke us' and often couldn't sleep at night, as a child wondering when the bomb would drop, and now I have a friend who is Russian.
Recently I saw a question on LinkedIn from a young man in Pakistan, about his Master degree in GIS and what area and University he should do his studies at. Since this is an area I am familiar with I looked at his profile to see his background and to suggest some ideas for him, we keep in sporadic contact generally discussing GIS topics of interest to us both.
The fact that on an average day now - I communicate with people in several different countries as a normal part of my day highlights that the world is becoming a smaller place. Through Social media and other mechanisms such as Skype I am slowly trying to befriend people from different cultures and locations all around the world, I know that this will not be quick or easy, but I look upon this as a chance to expand and understand new cultures.