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An Exercise in Social Media Connectivity (aka “AAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!”)

Like most people, I have always wanted to jump from an aircraft at 12,000 feet and free fall towards the Earth at nearly 60 miles per hour while putting my survival in the hands of a complete stranger. However, I was—for some reason—a bit frightened about actually doing it.  And every time I turned to people around me for encouragement and participation, I found no one.

But last winter at dinner with friends, one of them actually said she’d do it.  So I wondered—what would happen if I threw the idea out on Facebook and Twitter?  Would I find others who might be interested in joining us?  So I decided to perform a little exercise in social media connectivity and did just that.  I posted a Facebook link and invited people (anyone) to join me.  I also posted it on Twitter and our workplace bulletin boards.

My objective was to recruit a few people to accompany me on this “Bucket List” adventure and be available to push me out of the plane if sanity took over at the last minute.  I thought I might get two others.  What I got instead was a huge surprise.

Within three days I had 15 people who expressed serious interest, and several others who were on the fence, but not quite ready to take that plunge (get it—”plunge”? OK…sorry).  Encouraged, I went ahead and contacted a local jump school that provides tandem jumping.  After cost and scheduling issues were resolved, we had a group of 11 people who had connected to participate.  I was floored.  The Jump had turned into An Event!

The group was a collection of people who maintained different relationships.  Some had never met before the day of The Jump.  But most of us shared one thing in common — we were all incredibly nervous.  Fortunately, one had jumped before, and his encouragement (and the festive atmosphere of the place) kept our nerves in check.

Despite those nerves, we all did it (and loved it—check it out).  Afterwards, when we all gathered at a local eatery to drink and come down from the adrenaline high we were riding, any outsider would have had difficulty telling that most of us had only just met.

It is kind of hard to jump out of a plane with someone and then not feel a strong connection with them — even if you don’t know them.  We’ll definitely do this again…

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