I’ve had an experience of receiving an immeditate benefit from using social media. When attending the recent Rate My Placement Awards (by the way an excellent example for the usage of technology and social media), I decided that I wanted to cover the events on Twitter. It was a bit of a lonely experience at first, as the room itself was a bit of a wifi black hole with only few people tweeting. Hooking into a BTFon hotspot though enabled me to be online and I got going. A student panel was telling the assembled employers that if they wanted to get their attention, freebees were still the way to go. I tweeted on that and got into a bit of banter with one of the RmP guys about the value of freebees – and how much students like them. Having just finished my green tea – which in my world means an urgent need to get the next one immediately – I tweeted that I would be very pleased about a free green tea. And as soon as there was a break – they guy whom I was exchanging tweets with walked up to me (we never met before), and handed me one! What’s the lesson? Social media can indeed help connect you to real people, pretty instantly. They don’t replace interactions in the real world – but they might help to establish them. The offline world still rules the online world – and a cup of green tea is an artefact of the offline world. Yet the gesture – and the gratitude for the act of kindness bridged both.