I just got back from a business trip to Philadelphia, travelling with a co-worker. He noticed I was accessed my phone a lot and asked what I was up to. I ended up telling him quite a bit about Facebook and Twitter. He had signed up for a Facebook account to see someone's pictures but didn't get it. He hadn't heard of Twitter and after I described it, he thought I was even more crazy. When we stopped to eat dinner I chuckled 'I guess I better tell the world that I'm eating a spicy chicken sandwich at Max and Erma's." He shook his head "Why on earth would anyone care?" Mind you, I'm fairly new to Facebook and have only about a dozen Twitter followers (ltbaxter), so it was hard to argue with him. As we get on the plane less than 40 minutes later, I checked my mobile Facebook again. It was fun to tell him I got four responses, one person recommending their cookies, two others wishing me safe travels, and one more from Buffalo giving me the scoop on "real" buffalo chicken sandwiches :)
Even cooler, via Twitter and Facebook I noted a friend was reading a book while waiting at the airport. I told her that was a good book, and over the course of our connections we continued to update on book and flight progress. I mentioned I was now going through my connection in Cleveland and would be home before long. Finally, ending in Indy, I headed toward baggage claim. There was my friend with a broad smile - "I saw there was a flight coming in at the same time from Cleveland, was wondering if I would run into you here!" It just made the world seem that much smaller, and really surprised my co-worker. "Hmmm, maybe that stuff isn't so useless after all?!" Also, my wife got to follow along via her Facebook account and the Twitterfox extension for Firefox. The neat thing was that it turned one of the quietest / loneliest of activities - business travel - and mobile social networking helped me feel connected with my family and friends (and the rest of the world) all along the trip, like I wasn't in it alone. Nothing earth shattering, but just one more tool useful in building community and staying connected.