This is a story of how numbers and people intersect.
Yesterday was my mother’s 60th birthday. Since she lives 13 and a half hours ahead of me, I was up early to wish her. I typically log on to Twitter first thing in the morning, to catch up and generally confab with my “tweeps.” While I was doing this, I noticed a tweet discussing the fun one could have with a made-up hashtag like #SHTYMFM (Say Hi To Your Mother For Me).
I thought it would be fun to tweak that and ask people to wish my mother; she’s been grappling with the emotional roller coaster of officially retiring on her birthday from a long teaching career, while still a vibrant resource for her students. All they had to do was reply to me and include the hashtag #SHBTYMFM. (You don’t need me to spell that out, do you?)
I’ve experienced, over and over again, how generous “Twitterville” can be, but even I didn’t expect for 24 people, none of whom have ever met my mother, to wish her. That number includes a few who sent good wishes her way before I introduced the game, used #SHTYMFM as a hashtag, and one who sent her a virtual birthday cake.
My mother was touched and overwhelmed. She has also created a Twitter account. I don’t expect her to become a social media maven overnight, but I am excited that she is taking the plunge into what is, for her, a brand new frontier. On the other hand, she’s quite a remarkable woman, so I wouldn’t put anything past her. And to everyone who responded, again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.