There are so many ‘official’ days or ‘recognised celebrations’; it is hard to keep up with them. Pizza Day. Tiger Day. Red Shoe Day. This social responsibility with my geek calendar is exhausting. Believe me, I try.
And then one day, when the planets are aligned and you stick your tongue out to the side at the correct angle… BAM! You score a two-for-one you can work with.
Sunday 30 July is International Day of Friendship, as recognised by the United Nations. It’s a day to promote solidarity of the human spirit.
Buddy. Bro. Mate.
That network of people who listen when you rave about the last Doctor Who episode, whinge about the Australian Senator with the tin-foil hat, and cry about the state of the Great Barrier Reef.
Sometimes they are fellow-parents you catch up with for a coffee every month or so. Sometimes they are the lovely ladies you meet with to talk about comic books and superhero movies and chocolate brownie recipes. Sometimes they are a roughly-thrown-together bunch of scruffy looking nerf-herders who are trying to convince you to travel all the way over to the United States of America to join their cosplay. BTW: I’m totally in.
And this is where I love the internet. I’ve said it before: the internet is awesome for friendship. Not just for me, but for the spawnlings too. Take Zaltu, for example. She has this amazing friendship with the daughter of a minion over in the States. Let’s call our spawnlings Z1 and Z2.
These girls chat about everything over Facebook Chat. They show each other their Super Hero Girls, they give tours of their bedrooms, they talk about dance moves. When my phone starts having a long series of buzzing fits, I know Z2 is sending Z1 a bunch of stickers and GIFs through Facebook Chat. And I know my bundle of joy is returning the favour to her friend… usually at 2am in the US morning, thanks to time zones (we have finally figured out how to use this to our advantage – teaching the girls about day/night and summer/winter… see, we’re educational and stuff).
Zaltu has friends at preschool and in the neighbourhood, but not all of them have the same interests. And not all of them want to talk about Wonder Woman for the umpteenth time. Yeah, I don’t understand that either. But this is where the technology works so well because I can show her a real person, just like her, who DOES want to talk Wonder Woman. It’s a bit like those pen pals ever so popular during my childhood. Except Zaltu can SEE her friend and talk with her in real time. For Zaltu, that’s what makes a true friend: support, connecting, and availability. It really doesn’t change much as we grow up older.
Now, before you get all excited about celebrating your friendships all over the internet I have a bonus for the Australian readers.
Sunday 30 July is also National Tree Day. Which means you can look twice as savvy by combining the two! Take your friend out for a picnic under a tree. Or plant a tree in honour of a special friend. If your special friend is far away, go and hug a tree instead.
Don’t be overwhelmed with the social calendar of the internet. Choose your days wisely. Look for overlaps to instantly double your cool geek status. But most importantly, stick with the ones that mean something to you as well. There’s no point in celebrating a day if you aren’t doing the celebrating part.
This one is easy. Friends + Trees. Zaltu is already heading over to the tree with my phone for some Facebook Chat… wait, that’s MY phone… DAMN IT!!