Assimilating the Twitterverse
Twitter existed last Labor Day weekend, but it was about as prevalent then as the iPhone. Now that most of the appleminded have wised up and we're all jacked in, the Twitterverse was alive and well in the fourth dimension. I tagged all my own tweets with the #dragoncon hashtag, and in the wee insomniac hours before my roommates rose from the dead, I would click on #dragoncon to see what everyone else was saying and doing.
What parties had just ended? What concerts were going on tonight? What cool costumes were floating around? What great panels had I missed? How many people had already stopped at Starbucks and were sitting in the Shatner/Nimoy line? What time were the Thriller dance rehearsals? How much was it to get Patrick Stewart's autograph? Getting to experience the convention through so may other people's eyes WHILE CURRENTLY EXPERIENCING IT MYSELF was a bit mind-blowing. And excessively cool.
Before I knew it, I was responding to the tweets of perfect strangers. One girl mentioned that she was dressing up as Rose from the 60's episode -- I asked her if she'd worn the same thing to the parade yesterday because I'd noticed that costume. Turns out...it was her! I complimented her on the pink dress, and we commiserated about how we don't get to watch the parade anymore now that we're in it. One guy boasted about being part of the Crazy 88s that poured down the escalator during the sold-out Steampunk Ball and entertained everyone who couldn't get in. I had ordered Kit to take a picture of the group -- they looked spectacular, and I told my new friend Will so. He invited me to get in the picture next year, and I took him up on the offer.
The thing was, these weren't perfect strangers. At any other convention, these would probably have been the folks I found myself hanging out in the lobby with until 2am. Thanks to Twitter, I got to spend my free time seeing the convention through their eyes. I got to make friends with people I might have bumped into many times over the last thirteen years--people who might have been across town...or in the very next room.
We live in an age where people are almost afraid to walk down the street and meet their neighbors...but there are people out there--kind, like-minded people--just waiting to be met. Despite the alien disguises we might don, we're all human. And, as Twitter only further proves, at Dragon*Con, we're family.